- John Obi Mikel has revealed it was a difficult start for him at Chelsea under Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho
- Mikel moved to the Premier League outfit as a 19 year-old from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo in 2006
- The Nigerian was discovered after impressive performance with the Flying Eagles at 2005 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Netherlands
John Obi Mikel has revealed it was a tough start for him under Portuguese boss Jose Mourinho in his early days at Chelsea.
Speaking in an interview with the BBC World Service Sportsworld, Mikel admitted lacking pace following his arrival from Norway, but incurred the wrath of the Mourinho after he saw red.
“Got sent off on my first game. Mourinho killed me. The speed of the game took me a while to understand it,” explained Mikel, who arrived Chelsea at the age of 19 from Lyn Oslo in 2006.
Interestingly, at the 2005 U-20 FIFA World Cup in Netherlands, Mikel emerged the second best player of the tournament behind Argentina’s Lionel Messi, who also helped the South American nation defeat Nigeria 1-0 in the final.
After the tournament top European clubs that include Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and others showed interests in signing the Nigerian youngster
And at the end Mikel signed the dotted lines for Jose Mourinho-tutored Chelsea for €16m.
But Mikel explained he struggled at the beginning to cope with the pace in the English topflight where he spent over 10 years winning two Premier League silverwares, four FA cups, two League Cup, one Champions League and Europa League winners medal.
“I was a very naughty boy,” Mikel said
“I’ll get up to speed but I was late to trainings many times. I was wearing the wrong dress codes.”
But the Portuguese manager was not ready to accept Mikel’s naughtiness.
“Mourinho was very firm with me because he wanted me to learn and learn very fast because he brought me in.
“With Mourinho, there are no excuses. I was put in a very naughty corner a few times. It took me a while to understand where I am and I had to learn very fast,” Mikel summed up.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that John Obi Mikel thought he was never going to see his father again after coming off the pitch in Nigeria's 2-1 2018 World Cup defeat to Argentina.
The 31-year-old was said to have been asked to pay a ransom of N10 million (about £21,000) following the abduction of his father the second time.
Before going into the last group game against the south American side, Mikel thought he would 'probably find out they had decided to shoot him'.
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