John Obi Mikel has admitted he used to pick games he would feature in for Nigeria, after years of concerns he may have deliberately avoided some games.
The 29-year old is now the Nigeria captain and will lead the Super Eagles when they face Zambia in a World Cup qualifier in Ndola on Sunday.
He has recently come in for commendation following his impressive display for Nigeria at the Olympic Games in Brazil this summer, but he says there were times he may have deliberately selected the matches he wants to play in.
“Yes, I won’t sit here and lie to you, maybe I did (pick games to play),” he told fcnaija.com on Friday.
“Sometimes when you’re young and come into the game, you make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes but the older you get, the more you start to the things that are more important in life.”
The Chelsea midfielder also revealed that some of the times he missed games, he was actually injured and didn’t miss them deliberately.
“Some of those times, I was really injured too but I think when you get older, you recognize where you come from and you never forget where you come from because it is more important than anything.”