Super Eagles captain, John Obi Mikel, announced his retirement from international football a day after he won a bronze medal with Nigeria at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Although the 32-year-old was only able to appear twice for the Super Eagles at the tournament having suffered an injury earlier in the competition,Newswatch.ng reports.
John Obi Mikel made his first appearance for the Eagles at the 2006 edition of the championship in Egypt, and 12 years later, he announced his retirement after competing sparingly at the 2019 edition in the same country.
The former Chelsea star scored eight goals for Nigeria in over 85 matches in all competitions and won an AFCON title (2013) and a bronze medal (2019).
Mikel, who recently joined Turkish side Trabzonspor while representing Nigeria said that: “Egypt is a country where I’ve started and have finished my National career.
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“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. Mikel said on Instagram.
“My national career started in 2003 under 17 World Cup and I’m grateful for 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.” he concluded.
Nigerians however have taken to social media to show support and thank him for the future, with many showing support as well as wish him well for the future.
John Mikel Obi bossing the Spanish midfield is the best thing u will see today.Thanks for giving your all champ.Happy retirement🏅🏆 pic.twitter.com/w5aYgb25SY— Made In Benin 🕊 (@Sobsoil) July 18, 2019
His received a call that his father had been kidnapped and still went on to play and represent Nigeria with everything he had. John Mikel Obi retires from national team football. 👑 pic.twitter.com/6S3lUvJfmV— Oseni (@Taofeek__) July 18, 2019
OFFICIAL: John Mikel Obi has announced his retirement from International football at age 32 after 15 years.🏟️ 89 Games⚽ 6 Goals👟 12 Assists🏆 1x AFCON winnerLegend! 🙌 🇳🇬 pic.twitter.com/RcePAk4u79— Atta Mensah Vincent (@Atta_Mensah_V) July 18, 2019
At 23, JOHN MIKEL OBI was a world class footballer. He’s our legend.He’s our pride.He’s our hero.He’s a baller.He’s magnificent.He’s superb.He’s a leader.He’s exceptional.He’s John Mikel Obi. pic.twitter.com/xvX7aF6iIV— Ọládélé Dàda (@realoladele) July 18, 2019
16 years playing for the Super Eagles is not easy! Here are John Mikel Obi’s numbers in our green jersey 90 caps6 goals12 assist pic.twitter.com/UvFZhXMlic— Get247Sport (@Get247Sport) July 18, 2019