- John Obi Mikel has stated that he would have quit Super Eagles after 2013 AFCON
- Mikel disclosed that he changed his decision because of the involvement of the NFF
- He eventually retired from international football after the 2019 Nations Cup in Egypt
Nigerian professional football star John Obi Mikel has revealed that he nearly retired from international football in 2013 which was the year Super Eagles last won the AFCON title.
Mikel was part of the squad under late Stephen Keshi who beat Burkina Faso 1-0 in the final of the AFCON 2013 thanks to superb goal by Sunday Mba.
The former Chelsea star went on to play for Nigeria for another six years before retiring from international football after the AFCON 2019 in Egypt.
He has now made it clear that it was because of the negotiations between him and the country's football authorities that prevented him from quitting long term ago.
”I first wanted to leave in 2013, but as a result of our negotiations with the authorities, I decided to continue.
”We currently have very talented young players. They’re all bright. I think these players can handle the challenges. I had to make room for them,'' Mikel told Trabzonspor’s official magazine.
Before retiring from international football, John Obi Mikel played in five AFCON and two World Cup championships.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel announced his retirement from national team football after helping Nigeria win bronze medal at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The 32-year-old took to his social media page to confirm the news saying he ended his senior career exactly where he started in 2006.
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