Nigerian Footballers AbroadOff the Pitch

Mikel Obi: Zinedine Zidane was my idol

In a recent interview, former Chelsea and Nigerian football star, John Mikel Obi, delved into his footballing roots, unveiling the identity of his childhood football idol.

Without hesitation, Mikel disclosed that his favorite player of all time is none other than the legendary Zinedine Zidane, renowned for his mesmerizing skills and illustrious career with Real Madrid and Juventus.

Expressing his admiration for Zidane, Mikel reminisced, “Growing up, I will go Zinedine Zidane.” This revelation offers a glimpse into the profound impact Zidane had on Mikel’s early football journey, shaping his aspirations and influencing his playing style.

Mikel’s admiration for Zidane extends beyond mere fandom. In a lively exchange with his former teammate Eden Hazard on his podcast, “Obi One,” Mikel drew parallels between himself and the French maestro, particularly in the context of penalty-taking duties for the Nigeria national team.

Confidently asserting his role as the designated penalty taker for Nigeria, Mikel boldly declared, “In Nigeria, I used to shoot the penalties. In the Nigeria national team, I was the Zidane,” during the podcast banter with Hazard.

This comparison underscores Mikel’s self-assurance and his pivotal role within the Super Eagles setup throughout his distinguished career. As a leader on the pitch, Mikel epitomized qualities of creativity, skill, and leadership, leaving an indelible mark on Nigerian football.

Reflecting on his footballing journey, Mikel’s admiration for Zidane serves as a testament to the enduring influence of footballing icons on aspiring players.

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