Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi, has been announced as the new captain of the Super Eagles. CSKA Moscow winger Ahmed Musa made this announcement today. He said at the Eagles’ press conference, ahead of Friday’s AFCON 2017 qualifier against Egypt;
“I want to announce now that from today, John Obi Mikel is our new captain.”
This is coming barely 24 hours to the crucial games against the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
Musa who has been the captain until today replaced Vincent Enyeama, after the goalkeeper announced his retirement from international football. Coach Samson Siasia, at a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, upturned the table for Mikel to get the captain’s armband.
According to ESPN FC, the decision to hand the armband to Mikel was reached Wednesday and the players were informed. Musa was quoted to have said:
“Mikel is the oldest serving player in the team and it is the right thing for him to have the armband. This is just to correct what was done in the past. The most important thing for us right now is to concentrate on the two games in front of us and make sure that we beat Egypt and qualify for the [African] Nations Cup.”
Mikel who is one of the most senior players in the national team, represented Nigeria at the U-17 and U-20 levels at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and won the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament, behind Lionel Messi, as Nigeria finished runner-up to Argentina.
He made his debut for the Super Eagles on August 17, 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya but did not play for the national team again until 2006 when he was named among the squad for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.