John Mikel Obi is widely considered as one of the most successful Nigerian footballers of all time.
Mikel John Obi is a former Nigerian professional footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.
After joining Norwegian club Lyn at the age of 17 in 2004, Mikel made a controversial transfer to Premier League club Chelsea in 2006 after Manchester United claimed they had already signed him. He stayed with Chelsea for 11 years, before moving to China with Tianjin TEDA in 2017.
After two years in China, he returned to England on a short-term deal with Championship side Middlesbrough, before joining Turkish club Trabzonspor on a free transfer in July 2019.
Mikel moved back to England in August 2020 joining Stoke City before signing for Kuwait SC the following year.
In a 14-year international career between 2005 and 2019, Mikel played 91 times for Nigeria, scoring six goals.
Mikel Obi Profile
Full name: John Michael Nchekwube Obinna
Birth date: April 22, 1987
Place of birth: Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
Age: 35 years old (as of April 2023)
Current club: Retired
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Marital status: Married
Position: Defensive midfielder
Net worth: $45 million
How old is Mikel Obi? (Mikel Obi Age)
Mikel Obi is 35 years old as of April 2023.
Mikel Obi Career
Mikel began his football career at the age of 12 when picked as a talented footballer from over 3,000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy, a team that at the time was well known for travelling across Nigeria scouting young footballers with the potential to play professionally.
Obi stood out to scouts and was later picked to play for top-flight club Plateau United, a side that had previously developed Nigerian football stars like Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna and Chris Obodo, among others, that went on to attain success in European leagues.
Later known as John Obi Mikel, he made headlines for the Flying Eaglets at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland.
Following the tournament, he went on to a trial at South African club Ajax Cape Town now known as Cape Town Spurs and ended up joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway.
In 2005, after Mikel turned 18, Premier League club Manchester United announced that they had struck a deal with Lyn to sign him.
United's website also claimed that they had done a deal directly with the teenager and that he had signed a contract to join them.
Mikel was persuaded by Man United to sign a four-year contract without representation.
Lyn allegedly sent a fax to his agents abroad, claiming their services were no longer required by Mikel.
Reports said the deal was initially worth £4 million, and would see the player arrive at Old Trafford in January 2006.
Meanwhile, Manchester United's rival Premier League club, Chelsea, later issued a counter-claim suggesting that they already had an agreement with Mikel and his agents, but Lyn denied this claim.
However, subsequent reports indicated that Chelsea claimed to have been involved in arranging the player's original move to Europe with a view to signing him at a later date.
Further substance was added to this claim after it was revealed that Mikel had impressed Chelsea manager José Mourinho while training with the club's first-team squad during the summer of 2004.
Mikel expressed his delight at joining United in a hastily arranged press conference, where he was pictured holding up a Manchester United shirt bearing squad number 21.
Following his signing of the contract to join United, there were claims from Norway that he had received a number of threatening phone calls from unknown sources.
Mikel was assigned a security guard and moved to a safe hotel.
Reports later emerged that Mikel had travelled to London with his agent John Shittu.
Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson also considered travelling to Oslo to visit Mikel, but later changed his mind after Mikel was reported to have left the country.
Mikle stayed in a London hotel and about nine days after his disappearance, he later stated on Sky Sports News that he had been pressured into signing the contract with Man United without the presence of his agent.
However, these claims were shut down by both Manchester United and Lyn.
Mikel told the British media that Chelsea were the club he genuinely wanted to sign for.
In response to these events, United made an official complaint to FIFA about the behaviour of both Chelsea and the player's agents, Shittu and Rune Hauge.
FIFA dismissed these claims in August 2005, stating there was insufficient evidence to bring a case against Chelsea.
Mikel later failed to return to Norway with Lyn, and the club subsequently lodged a complaint with FIFA.
Football’s governing body ruled that Mikel should return to Lyn to fulfil the remainder of his contract with the club, whilst they would decide at a later date whether the contract he signed with United should be upheld or cancelled.
After a delay of over a month, Mikel complied with FIFA’s decision and returned to Lyn in early September 2005 following a three-month absence.
Rather than leaving FIFA to determine the validity of the contract signed with Manchester United, Chelsea took matters into their hands by volunteering to settle the transfer saga through negotiation with Lyn and Manchester United.
On 2 June 2006, Chelsea, Manchester United and Lyn reached a settlement to resolve the future of the player.
Mikel's registration was to be transferred from Lyn to Chelsea; Manchester United agreed to terminate their option agreement with Mikel.
Under the terms of the agreement, Chelsea agreed to pay United £12 million, half paid upon the finalization of the contract and the other half in June 2007, and Lyn £4 million, half payable immediately and half in June 2007.
As a result of this settlement, all claims in this matter were withdrawn.
And on 19 July 2006, Chelsea were granted a work permit for Mikel after they completed the £16 million signing in June 2006.
On September 12, 2006, Mikel made his first start for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League against Bulgarian club Levski Sofia and took a powerful shot that the goalkeeper failed to save and Didier Drogba pounced on the rebound.
Mikel received many positive comments for his performance in the match.
However, since being sent off in a match against Reading on 14 October 2006, Mikel was fined on three separate occasions by Chelsea for turning up late to training.
Mikel would end up spending 11 years with Chelsea.
Against Watford on Boxing Day 2015, in the first game of Guus Hiddink's second spell in charge, Mikel came on to become the 21st player to make 350 appearances for Chelsea.
Mikel also went on to make appearances for clubs like Tianjin TEDA, Middlesbrough, Stoke City, Tranzonspor, Kuwait SC.
Mikel represented the Nigeria under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and won the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament (behind Lionel Messi) as Nigeria finished runner-up to Argentina.
Mikel made his debut for the Nigeria senior team on 17 August 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya.
He made his first international start in Nigeria's 2006 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final group game, a 2–1 victory over Senegal.
In 2007, Mikel was suspended from all Nigerian national teams after manager Berti Vogts dropped him from the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Niger for failing to attend their previous match against Uganda.
Mikel eventually cited an injury as the reason for his absence but because he did not attend an independent check by Nigerian officials, he was dropped.
This, and his refusal to play for the Nigerian under-23 side, resulted in his suspension by the Nigeria Football Federation.
After apologising, he was called up to the national squad for the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana.
At the tournament, he scored one goal and registered one assist in a match against Benin to help the Super Eagles qualify for the quarter-finals against hosts Ghana, where they lost 2–1 to the Black Stars.
After some controversies with the National team, Mikel returned for the Super Eagles at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mikel was a key player for Nigeria as they went on to win their third continental title.
He was named by the Confederation of African Football (CAF) in the team of the tournament alongside teammates Vincent Enyeama, Efe Ambrose, Victor Moses and Emmanuel Emenike.
Mikel made his FIFA World Cup debut at the 2014 tournament in Brazil, earning a man of the match award in the Super Eagles' opening game against Iran.
He also helped the Super Eagles team reach the knockout stage for the first time since 1998.
In a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Algeria, Mikel scored a goal and assisted his Chelsea teammate Victor Moses in a 3–1 victory.
Later in July 2019, Mikel said that the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations would be his last tournament for Nigeria.
He eventually announced his retirement from the national team at the end of the competition, in which Nigeria came third.
Mikel Obi Career Achievements
Club level - Chelsea
Premier League: 2009–10, 2014–15
FA Cup: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2011–12
Football League Cup: 2006–07, 2014–15
FA Community Shield: 2009
UEFA Champions League: 2011–12
UEFA Europa League: 2012–13
FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball: 2005
CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year: 2005
Chelsea Young Player of the Year: 2007, 2008
CAF Team of the Year:2005, 2013
Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2013
African Footballer of the Year runner-up: 2013
When did Mikel Obi leave Chelsea?
On 4 November 2016, it was announced that Chelsea would not be renewing his contract when it expired at the end of the season.
When did Mikel Obi retire (Mikel Obi retirement)?
On 27 September 2022, Mikel announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 35.
Mikel Obi Net Worth
Mikel Obi is widely regarded as one of the most talented Nigerian midfielders of all time and is also one of the most successful Nigerian footballers of all time, having won every major trophy during his spell in Europe.
He is also one of the most popular players in Nigerian football as well as one of the richest.
As of 2023, Mikel Obi has an estimated net worth of $45 million, making him one of the richest African footballers in the world.
Mikel Obi wife?
Who is Mikel Obi’s wife? Mikel Obi is married to Olga Dyachenko, who is the daughter of a Russian billionaire.
Olga, who currently has over 41,000 followers on her Instagram page is one of the most followed Wags in Nigerian football.
Mikel reportedly met Olga when he was with Chelsea in London following his break up with former Delta Beauty Queen, Sandra Okagbue.
In a post on Instagram, Olga once revealed that she met Mikel when he used to live in the same compound with her parents.
But they started talking the day she went to drop off her key in Mikel’s flat.
Prior to that day, they had been neighbours for five years but never spoke to each other.
Although they started off as friends, Mikel quickly fell in love with the Russian model, before the feelings became mutual and they officially entered into a relationship.
The couple kept their relationship discreet but it later became public knowledge after they posted pictures of their twins on social media.
Olga Diyachenko is a model and businesswoman who graduated from Regen Business school with B.A Honours.
She also obtained a Master’s degree in Entrepreneurial management from Regen University.
She has also modelled for many top companies in Russia and has other business that she manages.
Mikel Obi and Olga Diyachenko got married in 2015, welcoming twins Mia and Ava in the same year.
Mikel Obi Cars
Mikel Obi reportedly owns a slew of luxury cars including: A 2012 Mercedes Benz E-Class which is priced at $75,000, A Range Rover Sport which is valued at $60,895, The 2010 Bentley Continental GT which is valued at $180,000, A Rolls Royce which is valued at $120,000.
There is also a rumour that Mikel Obi has a private jet.
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