Mikel: What Conte made me suffer for playing for Nigeria at 2016 Olympics

Mikel: What Conte made me suffer for playing for Nigeria at 2016 Olympics

Retired Super Eagles midfielder and captain John Obi Mikel has narrated what he suffered at the tail end of his Chelsea career for playing for Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics.

The 2012 UEFA Champions League winner with Chelsea was due to represent Nigeria at the Olympics in Brazil.

Mikel who was the captain of Nigeria’s men senior team at time was included in the final 23 for the tournament as one of the overage players.

With the blessings of the top people at Chelsea to represent Nigeria, Mike, Obi set out but was told would never play for the Blues again if he went for the event.

Mikel told the Athletic : “This guy who has just walked in the door for five minutes is telling me I had to choose.

“He was saying, ‘If you do that, you won’t be a part of this team.

“The club respected me because of what I had done for them and how long I’d been there.

“So off I went and I felt punished for that. I came back and I didn’t make the squad. I was never in the squad list on match days again.”

Mikel Obi left Chelsea for Chinese club Tianjin TEDA but this he did after Antonio Conte humiliated him for playing for Nigeria.

He added: “The funny thing is, just before the January window was going to start, he came up to me and said ‘I want a meeting with you’.

“This was after making me train on my own for months, treating a player who had been at Chelsea for a long time like this!

“When he tried to meet with me he was like, ‘Let’s try and make up, I will need you in the team, let’s squash this, blah, blah, blah!’.

“I was like, ‘Are you joking?! Are you f****** serious?!’ He knew I wanted out.

“I stood up and walked out of the room. You can’t disrespect a human being like that.”

John Mikel Obi led Nigeria to a Bronze medal finish at the competition and since leaving Chelsea he has played for Tianjin TEDA, Trabzonspor, Middlesbrough and currently with Stoke City.

Tope Adefala

Tope Adefala is an experienced sports writer, editor, and web designer. A former editor at Sportlineng.com. Talks sports with a great bias for Basketball, Tennis, Field Hockey and Football. Presently the media officer of Nigeria Hockey Federation. I have been in the business of Sports communication and marketing for more than 10 years. Not forgetting that I won West African University Games, Nigeria University Games gold medals. You can find me on Twitter @1topham.

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