PageJohn Obi Mikel Biography

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John Obi Mikel is a midfielder for Nigeria and Chelsea in the English Premier League. He shot to fame in the youth teams for the Nigerian national side, and started his European football education with Norwegian club Lyn Oslo. As an 18 year old he hit the headlines when he became involved in a tug-of-war between Chelsea and Manchester United, and was effectively kidnapped! He has since proven himself to be a midfield dynamo in the heart of the Chelsea team.

John Obi Mikel was born on 22nd April 1987 in Jos, Nigeria. His father had a good job as a civil servant, which ensured John Obi had a good education and could devote as much time as possible to his first love – football. He was picked up by Plateau United, his local football club, at the age of 10, and was prominent in the Nigerian youth teams. It was his performances for the Lions youth teams that led to a move to the Norwegian league, to Lyn Oslo.

With Norway’s relaxed immigration controls, John Obi Mikel was allowed to play on a regular basis and adapt to European football. Because of his exploits for the Nigerian youth teams at the 2003 and 2005 Youth World Cups, Mikel was followed closely by the top clubs in world football.

On April 29th 2005, John Obi Mikel was unveiled at Manchester United as a future star. A few days later, Mikel went missing, and was reported kidnapped by Lyn Oslo – supposedly being held hostage by the agent who had offered him the chance to play in Norway, who had already signed John across to Chelsea. Legal wrangling followed, before Mikel was ultimately allowed to choose which team he wanted to play for, and was persuaded (by money or otherwise) to join the Stamford Bridge revolution.

Mikel made his debut for Chelsea in September 2006, after finishing the previous season in Norway, and was used sparingly. When his attitude was questioned by Jose Mourinho, John Obi Mikel devoted himself to football, ignoring the distractions that instant fame and large sums of money had brought with it. Manchester United had the last laugh at the end of the season, when they took the Premier League crown ahead of Chelsea.

Mikel soon became a regular first-team player, with Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant choosing him to follow in Claude Makelele’s footsteps as Chelsea’s defensive deep-lying midfielder. He was a member of the unlucky Chelsea team that lost the Premier League and Champions League Final to Manchester United.