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Mikel Obi’s retirement: A career that made Nigeria proud

Mikel Obi on Tuesday September 27 announced his retirement from active football .

The Nigerian Midfielder in his 20 years of active football achieved success at Chelsea and on the international stage to make Nigerians proud in what is the most decorated football career yet.

From his exploits at the World Youth Championship to his trophy laden Chelsea career, the Olympic bronze medal with the dream team to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations win with the Super Eagles, Obi established what is the most decorated laurel cabinet by a Nigerian footballer.

In the beginning , Obi and other members of the 2005 U-20 FIFA World Cup silver winning team had a tournament every Nigerian was proud of such that the final loss to a Lionel Messi inspired Argentina left many heartbroken.

His career on the international stage also produced a 2013 AFCON title, a rich AFCON bronze box , one Olympic games medal and 91 appearances for the Super Eagles.

By the time he took a bow in 2019 , Mikel Obi was a captain who effectively marshalled the Nigerian team with several instances of benevolence to keep the wings of the Eagle flying .

At Chelsea FC, Obi won 2 English Premier League titles , 1 UEFA Champions League title , 1 UEFA Europa League title , 3 FA Cup titles and 1 league cup in 372 appearances for the blues .

Chelsea’s large fan base in Nigeria is as a result of Mikel Obi’s 11 years stint with the London club .

By the time he left Chelsea to join Tianjin Teda in 2017 , at least every street in Nigeria had 1 to 10 supporters of Chelsea FC .

From China , Obi returned to England with Middleborough . This time , for a single season in the English Championship .

A move to Turkish Super Ligue side Trabzonspor followed but a disagreement over COVID-19 related decisions forced his exit and subsequently a move to Stoke City .

Mikel Obi joined Kuwait Sports Club for his last contract as an active footballer. A brief spell and both parties decided to part ways .

In the morning days of 2022, Club-less and already thinking of the next Chapter , 35 year old Mikel Obi launched a talent hunt project in Nigeria .

” Back to Base ” arrived as a way of giving back to a Nigerian nation that cheered him to great success as a Footballer .

By the time the Midfielder decided it was time to say goodbye to active football in September 2022 , his message spoke volumes of his gratitude to the Nigerians dominated fan-base .

“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates and most importantly my ever-loyal fans. You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days when I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.” A part of his retirement announcement on Instagram read .

“I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career 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,”.

For making them proud, Mikel Obi will always get the support of Nigerians for his next chapter but first a lot of Nigerians have taken to social media with lovely messages to celebrate Mikel’s illustrious contributions to the game .



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