Former coaches, teammates and current Super Eagles players have all taken to social media to pen tributes to former Eagles captain Mikel Obi, who announced his retirement from football on Tuesday.
Mikel announced his decision to hang up his boots with a photo of his 18-year career’s biggest highlights and a lengthy statement on Instagram.
Nigerian Football Federation Technical Director, Austin Eguavoen, who first coached the former Chelsea star at U-17 level, praised the 35-year-old, who had a trophy-laden career.
“What a career,” Eguavoen wrote beneath Mikel’s post on Instagram.
“Congratulations on your retirement, John Mikel Obi. It was an honor coaching you at the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2003, AFCON 2006 and AFCON 2008. You played it all, and won it all.”
Former Chelsea captain, John Terry, added, “@mikel_john_obi, What a great career my friend, it was a pleasure to play and share the dressing room with you. Love you Georgie Boy.”
Former Ivoirian forward, Salomon Kalou, who arrived Chelsea at the same time with Mikel, wrote, “Thank You Baba. I miss you Baba and thank you for that wonderful journey.”
Al Hilal midfielder, Odion Ighalo, who bowed out of the Eagles with Mikel after the 2019 AFCON, stated, “Congrats skipper and good luck.”
Ogenyi Onazi also wrote, “Ahhh skipper, I miss you. LEGEND.”
“Happy retirement Skippo,” Mikel’s ex-teammate Oghenekaro Etebo wrote on Instagram.
Chelsea FC also added, “Enjoy your retirement, Mikel. Thanks for the memories.”
Benevento striker, Simy Nwankwo wrote, “Congratulations Skippo and good luck for the future.”
Cardiff City defender, Jamilu Collins said, “Enjoy your retirement skipper.”
Mikel’s career started off in 2004 at Norwegian outfit Lyn Oslo. Chelsea scouted him only two years later and brought him to their star-studded squad at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigerian enjoyed tremendous success during his 11-year stint at West London as he amassed a total of six goals and 13 assists in 372 appearances, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, the 2007 League Cup, the 2012 Champions League and the 2013 Europa League.
The versatile midfielder also enjoyed immense success on the international stage as well, winning the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2013 and the 2016 Olympics bronze medal with Nigeria.