Super Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi has announced his retirement from international football following Nigeria’s third place finish at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Mikel Obi, 32, had an illustrious career with the Super Eagles of Nigeria spanning 15 years representing Nigeria at the U-17 and U-20 FIFA World Cup, twice at the men’s FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup, Olympics and five times at the AFCON eventually lifting the trophy under late Stephen Keshi in 2013.
In addition to that the former Chelsea FC midfielder boasts of 90 appearances and 6 goals, an Olympic bronze medal, three AFCON bronze medals, one silver medal and silver ball at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. He was also named CAF Young Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006.
Having played his first competitive match for the Super Eagles in Egypt against Zimbabwe, Mikel has decided to to call it quit in the same country as he hands over the baton to the younger generation.
Read Full Statement Below:
“Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my national career. In 2006 I played my first official championship for my country. 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for the national team with Super Eagles.
“My national career started in 2003, under 17 World Cup and I’m grateful to the national team for placing me on the world arena and giving me an opportunity to show my skill and have an incredible national and international career.
“At the age of 32, it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the youth take over, who’ve done an amazing job securing a bronze medal at AFCON 2019.
“Thank you to all my Nigerian supporters and to my country for all the trust, support and love you’ve shown me over the past 15 years.”
Mikel will now look to concentrate on his club career having made a permanent switch to Turkish Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor where he will play in the 2019-20 season alongside compatriots Ogenyi Onazi and Anthony Nwakaeme.