Mikel: Going to Rio Olympics, reason I left Chelsea
Conte never spoke to me when I got back from the Olympics – Mikel
The Super Eagles captain has revealed that he fell out with the then Chelsea boss for opting to represent Nigeria at the Rio 2016 summer Olympics.
John Mikel-Obi helped Nigeria to win a Bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics – the country’s only medal at the games, but has revealed that going to feature took a bad turn when he got back Chelsea.
Chelsea, in the summer of 2016 just hired Italian coach Antonio Conte, who wanted to see out all the players at the club, but Mikel on the other hand, could not resist the opportunity of going to the Olympics.
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The midfielder, as quoted by Aoifootball said: “For me, it was a decision I had to take because when the opportunity came up to either go to Rio or play for Chelsea, I decided that Victor Moses, who was the younger and hasn’t played yet for the club, should stay back while I go to the Olympics.
“Victor stayed back and I went but when I got back the manager never spoke to me again and did not even put me in the team.
“So I had to leave the club. For me, my commitment to play for the national team will never change till I stop playing.”
Across ten seasons spent at the West London club, the 85-capped international won nine major honours – amongst are two EPL titles and a Champions League.
The 32-year-old, who made is AFCON debut in 2006, will be expected to guide Nigeria to her fourth AFCON title, as the tournament starts in four days, with Nigeria being drawn alongside Burundi, Guinea, and Madagascar in Group B.