By Johnny Edward:
Nigeria captain Mikel Obi has hinted that he could retire from football after his time at Tianjin Teda, reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
Mikel who spent 11 years at Chelsea after a brief spell at Lyn Oslo of Norway in 2005 joined Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda on a three-year deal after being frozen out of Antonio Conte’s Chelsea side this season.
The 29-year-old revealed to Tianjin Times Online News that he is trying to adapt to the style and pattern of the club having spent one week with the team in pre-season.
“If the club will not let me go, I hope to stay until the end of my career, TEDA will be my last stop,” Mikel said.
“I would like to stay here for a long time, so I hope everyone here maintains the harmonious relationship.”
The Super Eagles midfielder also added that he is looking forward to the Tianjin derby against Tianjin Quanjian who recently signed Axel Witsel from Zenit St Petersburg.
Witsel is expected to earn around £17m a year.
“If the world-class players are willing to play in the Chinese Super League, it will help the local players and if that happens here, TEDA players will, and indeed other players in other teams will make the level for the national team more better,” Mikel, who scored his first Tianjin TEDA goal on Saturday, said.
“I know he (Witsel) joined another team in Tianjin. We both want to win our first game but it’s not about about a particular player.
“The Super League is growing and that’s why the English Premiership feels they are in crisis, even Wenger has frankly admitted that sooner or later the CSL will threaten the Premiership status.
On his set goals at the club, Mikel said: “TEDA is not a top team, I’m hoping they improve well and I hope my arrival will ultimately enhance the team to win the league. This is what I want to do at TEDA.
“This cannot be achieved by one person alone, we need the efforts of all the players to improve the overall level of the team to the highest level.”