- John Obi Mikel fell out with Antonio Conte at Chelsea before he left
- The Italian wanted Mikel not to travel with Nigerian team to the Olympics in 2016
- Mikel refused to stay back and was left out of the Blues squad when he returned
Super Eagles legend John Obi Mikel has explained how going to play for Nigeria at the Olympics ended his career at Chelsea under former Blues manager Antonio Conte.
Before Antonio Conte arrived at Chelsea in 2016, the Nigerian footballer has been one of the best players for Chelsea considering his position.
Despite the Blues having star studded squad then, Mikel Obi still found his ways into the first team and played under managers like Mourinho, Scolari and Carlo Ancelloti.
Things turned sour for Mikel Obi prior to the 2016 Olympics in which Antonio Conte never wanted the Nigerian star to represent his country.
According to the report on Mirror, Mikel Obi explained that he told Chelsea chiefs his intention to play for Nigeria at the competition which they accepted.
“This guy who has just walked in the door for five minutes is telling me I had to choose.
"He was saying, ‘If you do that, you won’t be a part of this team’. I spoke to the club and told them that I wanted to go.
"So off I went and I felt punished for that. I came back and I didn’t make the squad. I was never in the squad list on match days again."
Mikel also stated that Antonio Conte later came to him for truce after the Nigerian has trained alone for months, but the Super Eagles legend walked out of the meeting.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Nigerian football legend John Obi Mikel seems to have positioned himself for a new deal at Stoke City after making a huge impact at the club in his first year with them.
The midfielder who turns 34 in April will run out of contract with the Championship club at the end of this season having signed just one year last August 2020.
However, Michael O'Neill is hoping The Potters can keep the former Chelsea player along with James Chester for another season owing to their contributions to the club.
The two stars have been credited for influencing the changing room positively on a strict budget for O’Neill, who walked into a club where about 20 senior players had no future, and have been influential first-team regulars.
Ibitoye Shittu is an award winning Sports Journalist with more than 10 years experience in News-writing, reporting and Public Relation. He is an HND and B.SC holder of Mass Communication and can be reached on Twitter @Ibishittu