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Mikel Obi officially retires from professional football
After a sparkling career spanning twenty years, Nigerian star and former Chelsea player, Mikel Obi has officially retired from professional football.
“There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end,’ and for my professional football career, that day is today.
“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape,” Mikel said on Tuesday.
For the former Super Eagles captain, his career won’t have come this far without support from coaches, family members, fans, and teammates, among others.
“You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you,” Mikel added.
He urged those who may have been inspired by his footballing exploits, “to never give up on their dreams; for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.
“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.”
Mikel last played for Al Kuwait SC but his contract was terminated by the club in November 2021 for undisclosed reasons. He had one year left on his contract.
The Nigerian rose to fame after a standout performance for West Africa at the 2005 World Youth Championship, where Nigeria was defeated by the Argentina team led by Lionel Messi. The PSG player won the tournament’s Golden Ball, and Mikel took home the silver boot.
Mikel was the focus of a transfer saga involving Manchester United, Chelsea, and the Norwegian team Lyn Oslo at that time. He eventually agreed to join the London team, where he went on to win several honours, including two league championships, three FA Cups, one Champions League, a League Cup, the Community Shield, and the Europa League trophy.
He was also a one-time winner of the Turkish Cup and on the international scene scored six times.
Apart from winning the 2013 AFCON, Mikel had 91 caps for Nigeria and won a bronze medal for the country at the 2016 Olympics. In 2006, 2010, and 2019 editions of the AFCON, Mikel also helped Nigeria claim bronze. He also played at the 2014 and 2018 World Cup, captaining the team in the latter.