John Obi Mikel has announced his retirement from football. The Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup winner took to Instagram to share his farewell message.
John Obi Mikel Retires at 35
View this post on Instagram
End of an Era for Nigerian Superstar
“There is a saying that “all good things must come to an end”, and for my professional football career, that day is today.” Mikel Obi began.
Mikel began his career with his local club Plateau United in his birthplace, Jos, Nigeria. A promising young star, he quickly made the jump to Norway to begin his senior career with Lyn at just 17.
And then Mikel joined the club where he would make a name for himself, Chelsea.
Mikel said: “I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.”
With over 372 appearances at Chelsea, Mikel won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, as well as the Champions League and Europa League.
He was also a vital part of Nigeria’s triumph in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
John Obi Mikel Retires Not Just a Chelsea Legend but a Well-travelled Footballer
Mikel’s career spanned all countries and leagues. He left Chelsea for Tianjin TEDA in 2017, going on to make 31 appearances in the Chinese Super League, scoring three goals.
From China to sunny Teesside. Mikel joined Middlesbrough as a free agent in the 2019 January transfer window. He cited wanting to be closer to his family as part of the motivation for returning to the UK.
After 18 Championship appearances, Mikel was released at the end of the season. It was time for a new challenge, again overseas, in Turkey at Trabzonspor, where he would again only spend a short time. Moving into 2020 and the Coronavirus pandemic sadly forced him to end his contract with the club.
Fast forward to August 2020 and Mikel again returned to UK. This time the West Midlands were calling Mikel, who signed for Stoke City under Michael O’Neill. Mikel racked up 39 appearances with the Potters, eventually deciding to leave the club for a “significant overseas opportunity.”
This meant Kuwait SC. But Mikel only lasted four months there. There are rumours about what actually caused the player and club to part ways, but the official statement only said “Termination of the contract of the Nigerian John Obi Mikel” on Twitter.
Mikel Thanks Fans for Support
John Obi Mikel is still a very much loved name in football. His former team-mates, including the likes of John Terry, Gary Cahill, Salmon Kalou and Peter Etebo have all replied to Mikel’s IG post to wish him well, with Terry saying “it was a pleasure to play and share the dressing room with” Mikel.
Here’s what the Nigerian star had to say about all the supporting acts in his career.
Mikel said: “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 that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.
“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.”
Thanks for everything, John Obi Mikel!
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 27, 2022