StoryJohn Obi Mikel Looking Forward To Leading Nigeria At The 2018 World Cup

John Obi Mikel is looking forward to captaining the Nigeria national side at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia. The Super Eagles were the first country from the African qualification phase to reach the global tournament, and there is seemingly pressure on them to progress beyond the round of 16, which they have achieved on three occasions.

Speaking to reporters, Mikel said that he is looking forward to leading Tianjin TEDA through the upcoming Chinese Super League season whilst also guiding the national side at the World Cup, he said: “It is a daunting challenge and I’m looking forward to both teams (Tianjin TEDA and Nigeria) doing well, but now I’m totally focused with Tianjin TEDA.I am looking forward to Tianjin TEDA achieving good results in the Super League and I also hope that Nigeria can go further and better in the World Cup. The Super League is much more difficult than I thought, but since I came to play in the Super League, they have such strength has foreign teams as well.”

Mikel’s move to the Chinese Super League had initially propped doubts over his involvement at the World Cup after manager Gernot Rohr suggested that only the three best performers from the Far East would be picked for the showpiece tournament. However, the 64-year-old has since changed his opinion on the league with a number of other high-profile players from across the world, having joined the division.
Nigeria have a tricky group where they have been paired against Argentina, Croatia and Iceland, and they can expect no favours from any of those nations. Argentina would undoubtedly be the favourites to progress beyond the group, and it could come to which other nation has the better luck, though Croatia have the better-skilled players, who are plying their trade for some of Europe’s elite clubs.