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Nigeria Players Abroad

John Obi Mikel’s childhood allegiance: From Arsenal Fan to Chelsea legend



By Monsurah Olatunji

Former Chelsea midfield maestro, John Mikel Obi, recently stirred up a whirlwind of emotions among the Blues faithful by shedding light on his childhood allegiance.

Despite his iconic status at Stamford Bridge, Mikel confessed to donning the colors of Arsenal during his formative years.

This revelation, coming from a player who etched his name in Chelsea’s history books, particularly during the club’s maiden UEFA Champions League triumph, undoubtedly raised eyebrows among fans, given the heated rivalry between the two London giants.

However, Mikel’s explanation sheds light on the roots of his childhood affinity for the Gunners. He attributed his support for Arsenal to the influence of fellow Nigerian football icon, Nwankwo Kanu.

In Mikel’s eyes, supporting a fellow Nigerian on the global stage was a matter of national pride and solidarity.

Reflecting on his journey from a young Arsenal supporter to a revered figure at Chelsea, Mikel remarked, “When a Nigerian plays, you support your own.”

His words echo a sentiment deeply ingrained in the hearts of many football-loving Nigerians.

Moreover, Mikel highlighted the shift in allegiance among younger fans, noting that his and Victor Moses’ presence at Chelsea had swayed many budding talents towards the Blues.

In essence, Mikel’s revelation serves as a testament to the power of football in transcending rivalries and fostering a sense of unity and pride, both on and off the pitch.

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