‘I started and finished in Egypt’ — Mikel bows out

July 18, 2019
182 Views

Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel has called it quits with his international football career.

Mikel made the announcement on his official Instagram handle on Thursday, a day after the Eagles won the third-place match at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

The 32-year-old said he started his career in Egypt in 2003, and is hanging his boot at the same location in 2019.

“Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my national career,” Mikel said.

“In 2006, I played my first official championship for my country. 2019 African Cup of Nations marks my last championship for national team with Super Eagles.

“My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and I’m grateful for the national team for placing me on the world area and giving me an opportunity to show my skill and have an incredible national and international career.

“At age of 32 it’s time for me to retire from the national team and let the tour 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 broke into the Super Eagles in 2006 after winning the silver ball for the second-best player at the 2005 FIFA U20 FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland as Nigeria finished runner-up to Argentina.

The 32-year old made his debut appearance at the Africa Cup of Nations thirteen years ago in Egypt.

He scored his AFCON debut goal against Zimbabwe, and Nigeria’s second in the tournament in the final group D game.

The former Chelsea midfielder was part of the Super Eagles team that won the nation their third AFCON trophy in South Africa in 2013 under late Stephen Keshi.

In 2016, Mikel captained the U-23 team to win bronze at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

During his 13 year reign with the country’s national team, Mikel scored six goals in all competitions.

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