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‘ I was the Zidane ‘ – Mikel Obi speaks on his Super Eagles career

Former Super Eagles skipper, Mikel Obi, asserts that he was akin to Zinedine Zidane in the Nigeria national team due to his penchant for stepping up and taking spot-kicks during his international career.

Undoubtedly, Zinedane Zidane was an astute figure and rallying point for the French national team during his playing days.

Similarly to Zidane, Mikel Obi played as a midfielder for the Nigeria national team.

The comparison between Mikel and Zidane arose during a recent episode of the ObiOne Podcast.

The conversation between Eden Hazard and Mikel Obi took an intriguing turn when the topic of penalty-taking skills came up, prompting Mikel to draw a bold parallel between himself and the French football legend, particularly in the context of his role in the Nigeria national team.

During the podcast, Mikel playfully remarked, “In Nigeria, I used to take the penalties. In the Nigeria national team, I was the Zidane.”

While likening himself to Zidane, renowned for his elegance, vision, and technical prowess on the field, might raise eyebrows, it underscores Mikel’s significance to the Super Eagles and his confidence in his abilities.

Mikel’s journey with Nigeria, spanning from his debut in 2005 to his retirement after the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, saw him evolve into a key player, with the former Chelsea man rising to the position of captain before hanging up his boots.

As a central figure for Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Mikel had an illustrious international career, earning 91 caps and contributing to Nigeria’s 2013 Africa Cup of Nations victory. His impact extended beyond the senior level, with notable performances at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, where he received the Silver Ball, and his leadership as captain during the 2016 Olympics, leading the team to a bronze medal finish.

Despite facing challenges, such as a suspension from national team activities and missing the 2010 FIFA World Cup due to injury, Mikel’s commitment to the Nigerian squad remained steadfast.

While Mikel’s comparison to Zidane may be perceived as audacious, it reflects the weight of his contributions and the esteem in which he holds his international career.

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