Former Super Eagles Captain John Obi Mikel has officially announced his retirement from active football.
“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 satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human is has helped shape.
“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, club’s, 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 you will walk with me. Thank you,” he posted on his official Instagram handle.
Mikel began his professional career with Plateau United in 2002 where he impressed and made the list to the 2003 FIFA U17 Worldcup in Costa Rica after which he joined Norwegian outfit Lynn.
Chelsea scouted him only two years later and brought him to their star-studded squad at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigerian great enjoyed tremendous success during his 11-year stint at west London as he amassed a total of six goals and 13 assists in 372 appearances.
The 35-year-old won two Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, the 2007 League Cup and the 2013 Europa League.
Mikel was also part of the Chelsea squad that won the 2012 Champions League trophy.
The versatile midfielder enjoyed immense success on the international stage as helped Nigeria to their third Africa Cup of Nations triumph in 2013.
Mikel made 96 appearances for the Super Eagles of Nigeria where he captained between 2015 – 2019 before quitting in 2019 after the African cup of Nations in Egypt where led them to third place finish.
He also won silver at the FIFA U20 Worldcup in Holland where he shone like a million stars, in also won bronze at the Rio Olympics in Brazil in 2016.
Mikel left Chelsea in 2017 for Chinese outfit Tianjin TEDA before his return to England for Middlesbrough only two years later.
He then moved to Turkey in 2019 where he won the Turkish Cup with Trabzonspor a year later.
Mikel made one final return to England in 2020 for Stoke until his departure for Kuwait SC a year later.
The Chelsea hero had been a free agent since last November until his decision to retire.