Chairman Christian Chukwu has hailed Chelsea star Mikel Obi as one of the greatest midfielder ever to come of Nigeria and tips him to play many more years of top flight football.
The former Lyn Oslo midfielder who turned 29 yesterday, made his Super Eagles’ debut in 2006, after coming through the U-17 ranks in 2003.
Mikel has enjoyed a great 2016 with Premier League outgoing Champions Chelsea as he has been a super regular for the Guus Hiddink led side and Chukwu puts it down to his hardwork and dedication.
“There is no debate about his class which I attribute to discipline and dedication,” Chukwu, one of Nigeria’s football legend told Goal.com.
“Mikel is committed to whatever he wants to do and that has helped him a big deal as a footballer.
“He is gifted, talented and he is one of the greatest midfielders ever to come out of the country.
“And for those who condemn him for not scoring goals, I would
say the most important thing in football is playing to coaches’ instructions and not what people think the player should do.
“Mikel has been consistent for Chelsea because he is playing to his manager’s instruction. If not, he would have spent more time on the bench.
“And personally, I don’t feel that scoring goals should be a factor for becoming a great player.”
He continued: “For the national team, he has been doing his best and I believe he has years ahead of him in the Super Eagles. To be honest, he has paid his dues.
“He has played; he has captained and has been a source of inspiration to many young players which is the very important. He has really done well.
“As he clocks another year on earth, I wish him long life and more fruitful playing days. He has been so blessed by God that he hasn’t recorded any serious injury in his career. Going by this, I also wish him an injury-free time till he hangs his boot.”
Mikel was named Captain of the national team by Samson Siasia recently.