HomeNigeria National Teams

Olisadebe : Super Eagles Need Mikel Back For AFCON 2019

Olisadebe : Super Eagles Need Mikel Back For AFCON 2019

Former Polish striker Emmanuel Olisadebe has backed captain Mikel Obi to reclaim his place in the Super Eagles squad ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt reports Completesports.com.

Mikel has not featured for the Super Eagles since the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia missing the team’s last eight games

His absence has led to speculation that the former Chelsea star may have called time on his career with the Super Eagles – but Olisadebe still thinks his Mikel has what it takes to be a valuable asset to Nigeria’s quest of landing a fourth AFCON title.

“The Eagles need Mikel to stand a good chance of winning the AFCON,” Olisadebe told Completesports.com.


“The Super Eagles need more leaders in the team to help these young players flourish and Mikel will play that role well.”

“He’s in good shape now and we all have seen his contribution to the Middlesbrough team.”

Olisadebe also advised Samuel Chukwueze to shun the FIFA U-20 World Cup and focus on breaking into the Super Eagles team for the AFCON.

“For me he has no business at the U-20 World Cup. He needs to be in our team for the AFCON.”

“He (Chukwueze) has been outstanding for Villarreal this season and has shown that he can handle the pressure at the big stage having played against top teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid and of course in the Europa League.”

On the team’s chances, he said: “Its a tricky group but I’m confident that they will go through.”

“They are one of the contenders for the title.”

By Johnny Edward.

Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.



  • Haaaa i heard this man said our
     team is him not a polish again?,

    • Ako Amadi 3 years ago

      There’s what people are on paper, and what thry are in their hearts.

    • Pompei 3 years ago

      Lol, Olisadebe said “OUR” because na Naija em be at heart. Poland have been good to him. They recognized and encouraged his talent, something Nigeria did not do. So Poland reaped the rewards of his talent. Na so life be.
      When you look at players like Dele Alli, David Alaba, world class players that we missed out on because our football administrators did not show enough interest, you can see how much we’ve lost. Dele Alli in particular…that boy is dynamite. I sometimes allow myself to daydream and imagine what could have been….Dele Alli playing with Ndidi in our midfield. Oh well!

      • Glory 3 years ago

        Boy no be small, oh. Dat boy Dele for be d real deal. Every time I watch him play, na so so imagination full my head. Dele Ali n Iwobi, Dele Ali n Ndidi, Dele n Mikel. Watching Nigeria v England last year, Dele dwarf our own Mikel n Onazi for midfield soootey both of them come they quarrel. Na Iwobi come dey try match am small small. And to think say d boy Dele Alli cry cry tire, say him go like play for Nigeria while he dey Mk Don n no body invite am is just so painful n shameful.

        • Pompei 3 years ago

          Imagine us going into Afcon with Iwobi – Ndidi – Dele Alli in the midfield. In fact, that right there is a world cup winning midfield. Sorry, I am day dreaming again!

  • Mikel is needed in the team and I’m sure he will join the team to Egypt.

  • Glory 3 years ago

    I will never support Mikel coming back to the team. Yes Mikel is a very good player but a team need good chemistry more than just an individually good player. Rohr has developed a team with such good rhythm n chemistry already, then while bring in a player who will wanna come in as a captain? . That will definitely be counter productive. All those calling for Mikel to come in, you never gonna hear come back to apologise when Mikel eventually comes in and the team cracks n crash. That team has huge experience coming from a much bigger tournament, the world compared to African nations Cup. So I don’t see anymore experience Mikel is gonna bring rather he just gonna come slow the team domn n eventually negatively affect their games. ROHR BEWARE ROHR BEWARE. I am a Mikel fan but nigeria’s pride is bigger than any friendship or family ties.

  • Glory 3 years ago

    Some typo errors why…..”world Cup”….. down.

  • Glory 3 years ago

    Just to add, if Mikel had been playing with the team or even following the team with messages of support all through the qualifiers, then maybe it would not have been out of place to have him in the team but since after the world Cup, he had remained incommunicado with regards to the team. It just doesn’t make any sense having him back. With him how far n how well did we do at the world Cup. We have to move on n be ready to accept any performance with these new breed of players. That was d bold step Westerhof took in 1990 to put some sense into players like Keshi, etim esin, Peter Rufai n many more foreign based then, who were holding Nigeria to ransom before responding to invitation. Yes in that nations cup we lost first match 5-1 to Algeria but yet got to the final n that was d beginning of d beautiful journey to our first world Cup appearance in 1994.

  • daniel 3 years ago

    Nigeria football Assocation is the reason why mikeal and Moses stop honoring national call up

  • Glory i agree with the fact about mikel unpatrotic artitute towards the national team of recent. But i still support him back to the team. These players deserve our respect sometimes when u consider what they have achieved with the eagles they deserve some respect and priority if mikel havnt officialy retired he should always be welcome with both hands. The likes of odewingie efe ambroos martins . These guys where treated with little respect by denying them at list provisional list for the world cup at list for them to prove their self martins or osaze would have been more usefull than iheanacho even ighalo in that last world cup. These guys playes some times with eagles on credit they love the jeasy yet we reject them easily expecialy wen they dont have top club in europe. The national team is a very different ball game and those who are destined to perform does inrespective of their club eg sunday mba. Rodger miller rashidi yekini. They are not realmadrid players. So let us always alow the eagles camp open for those experience players who still want to play if they obviously fail the tests they can be droped with respect. Imagine nobody is even talking of onazi again

  • Mr Hush 3 years ago

    You have laid out some valid points.but permit me to give my opinion.
    Yes;the eagles have been playing well without Mikel,but you should understand,this bond had been built with Mikel in the mix; this team has built that understanding before the World Cup,and you can see that the bulk of the team is the same,just 3 to 4 new additions. So I don’t think Mikel coming back would disrupt things,it would  just be a continuity of what has been.

    I think we should understand where Mikel is coming from before we castigate him.
    First,this is a guy that has always given his best for this country,from the U17,U20,U23 and the national team.he has won laurels for this country,not just as a bit player,but as an integral player.i think it would be a deservice to call him out right now and say he is unpatriotic. How much more patriotic can he be?i dare say,Mikel has been more of a patriot Than most of us;he has served us well.
    Secondly,we should try to understand why such a patriot that has always put his mind playing for the country,suddenly started staying away.
    We should remember that his father has been kidnapped twice and the last time,he was at the World Cup ,when that happened.He did the mature thing and handled it himself,so not to disrupt the mind of the nation and his team mates,as it regards the World Cup.that is selflessness.
    Arising from the above,he chose to stay away from the team and Nigeria as a whole.it is only psychological.he feels uncomfortable playing right now for Nigeria due to all that.he just needed time to get his mind over this and be at the right state to play for the country.knowing fully well,that the boys on ground is good enough to get the job done.and I think ,from how well he has served us in the past,he can be given this . After all,Messi did the same,took a sabbatical from Argentina,and they respected his decision. C. Ronaldo did the same,stayed away from Portugal,and his decision was respected.
    We should remember,footballers are human beings first.they do have feelings too.

    And we really don’t know if Mikel isn’t in contact with the boys.we do know the coach is in contact with him.more importantly, he has not retired from the national team yet; at least,he hasn’t come out to state his retirement (as Victor Moses).

    So my take is,if Mikel is willing to come back ,I think he is only going to be an asset to us.we should welcome him back,if not for anything,for his past service,and his experience.
    And if he chooses not to come back,then we keep doing what we are already doing right now; winning..

    It can only get better.

    • Glory 3 years ago

      @ Hush no one is talking about Mikel being patriotic or not. Mikel lacks any motivation to do anything good in that team possibly because of some of the reasons you even mentioned in your post. Should d whole of Nigerians now go to grave bcos of what happened to Mikel? I truly sympathiise with him n every other that hv had to go through such satanic act by never do well idiots but the national teamshould not continue to suffer bcos of that.

  • Glory 3 years ago

    @ Collins id I totally agree with you about the sacrifices these players make as well as respect for them. But respect should not be worshipping them. Humility draws respect n in as much as I blame our system of doing things for affecting players attitude to national teams, I would expect these players earning such mind blowing wages to respect the feelings of millions of fans who can barely afford two square meals a day n going through pains in our country n even outside, who only gets a release off such pains anytime our national team is playing n doing well. I honestly like Mikel as a person n will always respect what he has achieved in life but I see a whole lot of things going bad if he gets invited to d team. Those players you mentioned above Martin, Ambrose n Osazee never for once stayed away from national assignments. They always remained eager. Just the national team coaches then refused to extend invitation to them. The zeal n self motivation to be a part is key but we have to be honest with ourselves Mikel hasn’t showed that at all.

  • Mr Hush 3 years ago


    You have spoken well.
    But Nigerians aren’t really dying because of Mikel; just saying If the man wants to play ,then he should be recalled;after all he is still our captain.
    If he does come back; that means he has the motivation to!
    If he doesn’t ,like I said, then we keep on moving and doing what we are already doing..

    • Glory 3 years ago

      My concern @Hush is d pressure some are putting on both d coach n Mikel to come back. Mikel been put under pressure to return can never be near a Mikel that is self motivated to play for Nigeria. Also coach bn put under pressure to invite such player will become weak in instilling his discipline on such player. This is my point. We have so many other ways to show our appreciation for Mikel’s contribution to our national team. Mustn’t have to be playing for SE.

  • Mr Hush 3 years ago


    Understanbly so; you are right.
    There should be no pressure on both player or coach.
    They should be able to make their own decisions.

    Though,and this my opinion,Mikel is going to be a very useful addition going to the Afcon; but I think we can go on without him,if he isn’t motivated enough to play.

    Nigeria is bigger than player,no matter who..

  • Arguements for and against Mikel coming back:


    1) Leadership Qualities: Mikel carries himself with dignity. He appears to carry the team along too – a true leader.

    2) Passer: Mikel remains one of the best passers of the ball that the Super Eagles can boast of at the moment.

    3) Reputation: Mikel is a household name in African (and world) football. His presence is inspirational to the team.

    4) Experience: Mikel has experienced highs and lows with Nigeria (in more ways than one). His experience is invaluable.

    5) Winner: Mikel is a winner; he still wants to win with the national team.


    1) Arrogance: A school of thought has it that Mikel may think he is too powerful hence he might want to dictate to the coach .

    2) Style of Play: Mikel slows down games (sometimes, too much).

    3) Passion: Having won the Africa Cup of Nations once, Mikel may not be too passionate this time around.

    4) Impact: Since the Confederation Cup of 2013 in Brazil, Mikel has not been able to stamp his authority on many more games.

    5) the team is fine: The team has performed well in the absence of Mikel. His value to this current team is questionable.

  • Omo9ja 3 years ago

    I have said it severally here that the
    Service of Mikel is still needed in the team but coach Rohr is winning now NFF and some of us are satisfied with the coach.

    Same thing almost happened in 2013 Afcon but late Keshi had to rethink quickly to called Mikel back.

    If coach refuse to settle the mantle with Mikel and his teammates, we are going to see the result in Egypt. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Why does this dude always speak doom? Are you a sadist or is Rohr responsible for your problems in life?

  • Alamin 3 years ago

    my dear forumites, well said from Mr Hush, Collins id & Glory. but the truth is that some people are putting pressure on d coach or thinks that without Mikel we can’t perform well but we can see what we are capable of in his absence, am not saying Mikel presence is not needed, I as a fan of his, want him to go to the afcon cause of his experience and I believe this is going to be his last appearance(2019 Afcon) for Nigeria cause he never renounce his retirement so our captain is highly welcome back to d team.
    I understand something Glory, the way some fans hype someplayer en, especially in moses scenario I was annoyed when some fans started saying we should find a way to call him back, I was now thinking that, is that aw d country is so bad In football that we will be thinking of calling a player out of retirement and d country responded by finding kalu, we now have chukwueze even Iwobi can play in both flank,some fans dey annoy person en but Mikel case is different Glory I think u sound hash on him, we all know he has sacrificed a lot for Nigeria so he should be welcome atleast for this Afcon.
    one of the reasons for his absence might be bcos he want d team to be good without him even though that is not d reason but his absence have make d team good and doing well without him cos if he has featured for d qualifier and participate in d Afcon d day he will retire and we start losing and fans will start blaming his retirement as d cause for our loss but now when he retires we will continue doing well without complaints. so his invitation is welcome. God bless the Super eagles, soar high and God bless Nigeria. Amen

  • I may be wrong, but I sense Mikel excusing himself from the team had to do with Onazi. He probably felt it would look like he “chased” his vice captain out of the team so he can have his way.

    Whatever Rohr decides in this matter, it’s fine. But I feel Mikel could disrupt the team chemistry, especially since he hasn’t shown he’s with them in spirit all these while. Remember Onazi too had his own loyalist and those ones will prefer Musa continues with captaincy. And to be honest, Musa has been a good leader.

    Mikel may be good and experienced, but his attitude leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, a great worker is made of competence and attitude. But if you have to choose, in the long run, it’s better a little competence + big attitude than big competence + small attitude.

  • Adisboy 3 years ago

    Guys, Mr Hush is once again 100% spot on. I don’t believe anyone is pressurising Rohr to invite Mikel, I think it is Rohr that want’s him back. As Mr Hush said, the current calm atnosphere and team spirit within the squad was cultivated by Mikel and you clearly see the youngers players get more motivation when he is with them. Rohr knows this and he’ll needs every extra advantage he can get for the team hence he is trying to get Mikel back. His experience with his dad’s kidnapping affected him, a similar scenario is happening to Samuel Kalu. He needed time to get psycholigically ready for national duty again as what he went through i wouldn’t wish on my worst enermy, same with Kalu. If he’s ready he’ll be back and team spirit within the group will be boosted which is what we need for the AFCON.

  • Chairmanfemi 3 years ago

    Well said everyone. Now my own worry is Coach Gernot Rohr should please release his supplementary list as soon as possible cuz other Countries have started releasing theirs. I think that will calm the tension a bit