Why I Called John Mikel Obi “Fantastic Lad” – Samson Siasia
Former Super Eagles forward Samson Siasia has hailed Nigeria captain Mikel Obi labelling him a “fantastic lad”.
Siasia made the assertion when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday.
He said, “There is nothing special between me and Mikel; it’s only that I so much like him as a player. You can’t take it away from him that he is one of the greatest exports of Nigerian football.
“Mikel started playing for top clubs at an early stage in his life and has won virtually everything he wants and above all, he is a good and committed player.
“You can also see his contribution to the national team, so, who will not like such a player. He is a fantastic lad and always playing at the top.
“If you have such a player in your team, then, you can have the support of others, to me he is a great export and an ambassador.’’
The Tunisia ’94 Africa Cup of Nations winner, who represented Nigeria at the USA ’94 World Cup, said the China-based midfielder had done creditably well both at the club level and the national team.
Siasia selected Mikel for the Holland 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup where the former Chelsea star won the Silver Ball behind Lionel Messi. Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 in the final at Galgenwaard Stadion, Utrecht. Messi scored the South Americans’ goals while Chinedu Ogbuke scored for Nigeria.
UEFA Champions League (2012) and UEFA Europa League (2013) winner Mikel also helped Nigeria win bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games with Siasia the coach of the team.
Mikel left Chelsea for Chinese Super League club Tianjin TEDA after the expiration of his contract in January 2017.
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