Nigerian legend John Obi Mikel has disclosed he nearly retired from international football with the Super Eagles in 2013.
The Trabzonspor midfielder finally retired from international football having played for the African giants for thirteen years after helping the team finish third at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The accomplished player revealed the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) begged him to continue playing for the Super Eagles.
”I served the national team for 13 years, most of them captain. In this period, we have achieved significant successes as a team,” Mikel told Trabzonspor’s official magazine.
”I first wanted to leave in 2013, but as a result of our negotiations with the authorities, I decided to continue.
”We currently have very talented young players. They’re all bright. I think these players can handle the challenges. I had to make room for them,” he added.
”Besides, I don’t have many years for football in front of me. I want to focus on my team in the remaining period.”
Mikel played in five AFCON finals and two FIFA World Cup finals.