Footballer John Obi Mikel was born born John Michael Nchekwube Obinna on 22 April 1987 in Jos, Nigeria needs little or no introduction.
The football star made massive news after he represented Nigeria in the under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and winning a Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament. Mikel hit the limelight after he played in the Nigerian senior team on 17 August 2005, after he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya.
Here are 10 things you should know about him.
1. He was born John Michael Nchekwube Obinna on 22 April 1987 in Jos, Nigeria.
2. Mikel was born to Michael Obi who runs an inter-state transport company in Jos, Nigeria.
3. Mikel officially started his football career at the age of 12, after he was picked as a talented footballer to play in Pepsi Football Academy.
4. He later joined Plateau United, a club which has since produced top European leagues stars like Victor Obinna, Celestine Babayaro and Chris Obodo to mention a few.
5. In no time, Mikel went on trial at South Africa club Ajax Cape Town, ultimately joining Oslo-based club Lyn Football in Norway.
6. The ace footballer won the U-20 Silver Football after he was voted as the tournament’s second-best player in 2005. Mikel was also awarded the African Young Player of the Year award in 2005 and 2006.
7. He played with the Nigeria senior team on 17 August 2005. The footballer came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya.
8. He has a girlfriend with whom he has two daughters. The lady Olga, took to social media to share how they met.
“Mikel used to be my parents neighbor. We lived there for 5 years.
“As my parents were leaving the flat, I dropped off the keys at his flat and that was how we met and started off as friends and then grew into lovers.
“t was never a magical love story because we were neighbors for 5 years but we never met until I went to drop off the keys when my parents were about to leave the apartment.”
9. Mikel played for Chelsea F.C before he joined for Middlesbrough
10. Mikel again made news when he made his FIFA World Cup debut during the 2014 tournament in Brazil. He went on to be named the man of the match in the Super Eagles’ opening game against Iran. The talented footballer helped his team reach the knockout stage for the first time since 1998.