- Mark Clattenburg has named Mikel as one of 5 annoying players he has refereed
- Mikel had serious encounter with the English referee when he was playing for Chelsea
- Clattenburg explained that he almost quit football because of Mikel Obi
Former Premier League and FIFA referee Mark Clattenburg has named Super Eagles legend Mikel Obi among the list of five most annoying players he has refereed in his career.
The 45-year-old Englishman is known as one of the best referees in the world as he took charge of the 2016 European Championship, Champions League and FA Cup finals.
But there are some players who tested the patience of the referee most especially during his time in the Premier League in England.
Clattenburg claimed that former Liverpool star Craig Bellamy was the most annoying among these five players which also include ex Manchester United star Roy Keane.
"I knew my relationship with him was on sticky ground when he squeezed my balls in the tunnel at the Etihad, and I don't mean my match-balls," he told Daily Mail referring to Bellamy.
Former Arsenal goalie Jens Lehmann also made the list as well as ex Real Madrid defender Pepe who was known for his aggressive style of play.
Speaking about Mikel, Clattenburg explained that the former Chelsea star accused him wrongly of making a racist comment which almost ended his career then.
"I have picked Mikel because of the incident during a Chelsea v Manchester United match in 2012 when he accused me of making a racist comment, which was not right and I was later cleared by the FA.
"It all left a bad feeling that still lingers today. Mikel only heard the allegation from his team-mate Ramires who did not speak English. Other Chelsea players have since apologized but nothing from Mikel." he explained.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how former Super Eagles goalkeeper Ike Shoronmu rubbished claims that Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel is Nigeria's greatest player ever.
The 52-year-old ex-Besiktas and FC Zurich star said this while reacting to Daniel Amokachi crowning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner as the best the country has seen in the sport.
Shoronmu recognizes the feats Mikel achieved during his peak but insisted that he does not come close to the like of Segun Odegbami, Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Emmanuel Okala, and Peter Rufai.
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