New Super Eagles captain, Mikel, preaches unity
Chelsea star, Mikel Obi, who has been named the new Super Eagles captain, has urged all Nigerians to rally round the team as they battle with the Pharaohs of Egypt in the Gabon 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying
The Nigerian side intensified their preparation for the encounter at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium (ABS) yesterday with the players showing signs that they are ready to overcome the Egyptians.
Mikel, who was unveiled yesterday during a media parley at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna, pledged his commitment to the team and also promised to provide quality leadership as the team captain.
According to him, with the new understanding in the team, the Eagles can now guarantee victory and success in the days ahead, adding that Nigeria will crush the Pharaohs today.
Mikel, who has been one of the most valuable players in the national team since he made his senior debut in 2006, was overlooked by former coach, Sunday Oliseh, who opted for Ahmed Musa, as the replacement for Vincent Enyeama, as the Eagles skipper.
During the unveiling, Musa said he decided to hand over the captainship to Mikel because he (Mikel) is his senior colleague in the team.
The Guardian recalls that Mikel represented Nigeria at the U-17 Championship in Finland in 2003, as well as the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, where he 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.
He did not play for the national team again prior to being named in the squad for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mikel also made his FIFA World Cup debut during the 2014 tournament in Brazil, winning a Man-of-the-Match award in the Super Eagles’ opening game against Iran and helping the team to reach the knockout stage for
the first time since 1998.