20 August 2018

Nigeria: Mikel Dazzles for Tianjin Teda, Shelves Retirement Plans

Photo: Vanguard
Obi Mikel

Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel played his first game since his involvement with Nigeria at the World Cup as his Chinese side Tianjin Teda forced visiting Jiangsu Suning FC to a 1-1 draw.

Mikel was on for the entire duration of the game alternating between his role as the defensive midfielder of the team with creative moves upfront to set up attacks.

Although his team failed to bag all three points, his performance was roundly praised as one of the best players on the pitch for his team during the entire duration of the game.

There has been talks about the captain following in the footsteps of Victor Moses who recently retired from the national team of Nigeria but his intermediary told Owngoalnigeria.com that such plans are presently not part of his future plans.

" Mikel is not done yet with the national team. He will still play for Nigeria for the foreseeable future. When the time for retirement comes it won't be because of the departure of another player. For now he is still interested in playing for Nigeria," he told Owngoalnigeria.com

Tianjin Teda coach Uli Stielike has admitted that he was pleasantly surprised by the performance of Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel in his side's 1-1 home draw against Jiangsu Suning on Saturday in the Chinese Super League.

The former Chelsea star was reinstated to the starting lineup after Brazilian striker Johnathan failed a fitness test and the German coach was delighted that the central midfielder played at a high level in his first game after recovering from a knee injury.

"I was very satisfied with Mikel, he didn't play because of injuries," Uli Stielike said at the post-match press conference.

"I didn't expect him to play 90 minutes of a high-intensity game. His height was an advantage in grabbing the point, including his experience in midfield.

"His performance was very good."

Mikel has started and gone the distance in 13 Chinese Super League matches this season and was not considered for six matches, one as a result of a suspension.

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