10 Real Facts About Mikel Obi You Probably Didn’t Know

Mikel Obi is one of the prolific international footballer from Nigerian descent. He has been described as one of the best football player in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. He started playing football as a teenager and has been described as a legend in the game of football. So therefore, in this article I will be sharing with you 10 real facts about Nigerian international footballer Mikel Obi that you probably didn’t know.

  1. John Michael Nchekwube Obinna popularly known as Mikel Obi is a famous Nigerian professional football player who currently plays as an attacking midfielder for his country Nigeria national team “Super Eagles” and Chinese club Tianjin TEDA on free transfer. He was a former midfielder for English club Chelsea. He has been described as one of the best football players in Africa and also one of the greatest of all time. He has also been described as one of the richest footballers in Africa and currently captains the Nigerian Super Eagles.

  2. He was born on 22nd April 1987 in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. He is currently 32 years old. He is the son of Michael Obi, who runs an inter-state transport company in Jos, the capital city of Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. Mikel Obi is originally from Anambra State in the south eastern part of Nigeria but grew up in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria, where his international football career began.

  3. Mikel Obi started his official football career at the age of 12 years old when he was picked as a talented footballer from over 3,000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy, a team that was at that time popularly known for travelling across Nigeria scouting for young footballers with the potential to play professionally. He stood firm among the crowd and was picked to play for top-flight club “Plateau United” a club that had previously developed stars like Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna and Chris Obodo, amongst others that are making waves in the European leagues.

  4. In 2003, Mikel Obi made headlines for his country at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland. During preparations for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships, the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) mistakenly submitted his name as “Mikel” instead of “Michael” for the tournament in Finland. That is how he got the name Mikel. After winning the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships and subsequently becoming a world celebrity, he decided to keep the new name “Mikel” saying that the name has a special ring to it.

  5. In the summer of 2005, Mikel Obi played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Youth Championships held in Netherlands. He had an excellent tournament until Nigeria reached the final, where they lost 2–1 to Argentina. That year, Mikel Obi won the Silver Ball Award after being voted as the tournament’s second-best player. On 29th April 2005, a few days after Mikel Obi turned 18 years old, Premier League club Manchester United announced that it had struck a deal with Lyn to sign Mikel Obi into Manchester United with a transfer fee worth over £4 million and would see the player arrive Old Trafford in January 2006.

  6. Few days later, Manchester United rival in the Premier League club, Chelsea issued a counter-claim claiming that they had already had an agreement with Mikel Obi and his agents, but Lyn denied the claim. However, subsequent reports indicated that Chelsea claimed to have been involved in arranging the player’s original move to Europe with a view to signing him at a later date. Further substance was added to the claim after it was revealed that the player had impressed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho while training with the club’s first-team squad during the summer of 2004.

  7. On 2nd June 2006, Chelsea, Manchester United and Lyn reached a settlement to resolve the future of Mikel Obi. His registration was to be transferred from Lyn to Chelsea. Manchester United finally agreed to terminate their agreement with Mikel Obi. Under the terms of this agreement, Chelsea agreed to pay Manchester United a whopping sum of £12 million, stating that half of the money will be paid upon the finalization of the contract and the other half of the money will be paid in June 2007. As a result of this settlement, all claims in this matter were withdrawn.

  8. On 19th July 2006, Mike Obi was officially signed to Chelsea with a transfer fee worth over £16 million from Lyn and was mandated to begin training with Chelsea Football Club. On 12th August 2011, before the start of their league campaign in Chelsea, Mikel Obi father, Michael Obi was abducted by gunmen in Jos, Plateau State in the northern part of Nigeria. Mikel Obi was informed before Chelsea’s match against Stoke City two days later but he opted to play the match despite his concerns for his father’s well-being. On 15th August 2011, Mikel Obi made a plea on national TV for his father’s release and safe return. He told Sky Sports News that he has always tried to help his country (Nigeria) and this is the time for his country (Nigeria) to help him by bringing his father home safely.

  9. Mikel Obi father was released on 22nd August 2011. His father, Michael Obi was found alive in the Nigerian city of Kano. His abductors were arrested and were in police custody. In 2016, it was reported that Mikel Obi did not impressed Chelsea at all. He was constantly on a bench due to his poor performance in the club. On 4th November 2016, it was announced that Chelsea would not be renewing Mikel Obi contract when it expired at the end of the season. On 6th January 2017, Mikel Obi was signed to Chinese club Tianjin TEDA on a free transfer.

  10. Mikel Obi currently has an estimated net worth of over $50 million, making him one of the richest and most influential footballer in Nigeria. Apart from football, Mikel Obi is also a model. He has a multi-million endorsement deals with Samsung, Pepsi and Soft Drink. He earns £150,000 weekly. That is, he earns roughly N60 million weekly playing football. He is currently one of the highest paid soccer players in Africa and also one of the richest footballer in Africa.

Austine Ikeru
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