Chelsea star midfielder John Obi Mikel has reportedly donated a princely $30,000 to his Dream Team VI teammates as they round off preparations in Atlanta, Georgia for the Rio Olympics.
The Dream Team VI have had to grapple with paucity of funds all through their build-up and the Nigeria U-23 Coach Samson Siasia has been forced to send out a SOS plea as he called for the backlog of salaries and bonuses to be paid before the Games in Rio get underway.
In this light, the kind gesture understood to be coming from Mikel will be a huge relief for the Nigeria U-23s who are hoping to replicate the gold medal winning feat recorded at the Atlanta 1996 Games.
Mikel is sure leading by example having also be named the Team Nigeria captain. On the burden his appointment has placed on him, Mikel who is also the captain of the Super Eagles said: “It’s massive, it’s big, it’s not just the football team. I am the captain of the Super Eagles. Sometimes you look at it and you think that’s a big burden, but this is even much bigger, it’s one that I am looking forward to.
On this being his first Olympics, the 29 –year old midfielder said: “I don’t think it will be a disadvantage. I think leadership is either you have it or you don’t. Sometimes, people grow into leadership and sometimes people are born with leadership qualities. I think I have always been in that leading role since my U-17 days, even when not wearing the captain’s band, I have always had people looking up to me to carry the team.”
Nigeria will be starting out in Rio against Japan.