John Obi Mikel a Chelsea star and former captain of the Super Eagles, has declared his retirement from football at the age of 35 after a scintillating 20 years of professional career.
On Tuesday, September 27, the former Nigerian international announced his intention to hang up his boots with a lengthy statement on Instagram.
The legendary midfielder’s message read: “There is a saying that “all good things must come to an end”, and for my professional football career, that day is today.
“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”.
“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.”
Mikel Obi began his professional career in 2004 with Lyn a football club in Norway. Two years later, he was scouted by Chelsea, who signed him to Stamford Bridge adding to their squad of A-list players.
He made 372 appearances for west London throughout the duration of his 11-year stay, scoring six goals and dishing out 13 assists in total.
The 35-year-old won the 2007 League Cup, two Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, and the 2013 Europa League.
John Obi Mikel was also part of the Chelsea side that won the 2012 Champions League trophy.
John Obi Mikel moved from Chelsea to Tianjin TEDA in China in 2017, then returned to England and joined Middlesbrough two years later. He then relocated to Turkey in 2019 and, a year later, won the Turkish Cup with Trabzonspor.
Before leaving for Kuwait SC a year later, Obi Mikel made one last return to England in 2020, playing for Stoke.
Before deciding to call it quits, the Chelsea hero had been a free agent since last November.