John Mikel Obi has revealed that 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt may be his last for the Super Eagles. The 14 –year veteran with the Eagles who had been out of the team since the end of the 2018 Fifa World Cup finals in Russia said he does not want to overstay his welcome.
Mikel won the Man-of-the-Match award in Saturday’s pre-Afcon tune up 0-0 draw game against Zimbabwe. Mikel revealed this in a video interview posted on the official Twitter handle of the Nigeria Football Federation on Thursday.
When the 32-year old was asked about his future with the Eagles, he stated that he was not sure of his availability in the 2021 Afcon taking place in Cameroon.
“I think this will probably be my last Afcon but I’m not 100 percent sure yet,” Mikel said. “I have given so much to this nation and at some point, you have to let go. I don’t want to overstay my welcome.
“I do not know but I think it may be. I like to go every year and see how I feel. “Obviously the young players are coming, I think before the next one comes around again I will be 34 or so. “I will leave when I feel the time is right. Let’s hope we can make it count.” The Eagles captain who was part of the Afcon winning team in 2013 in South Africa said he desires to win more laurels with the team.
“I’m always hungry to win if I didn’t want to win then I would not be here. “I don’t just want to come in and play the Nations Cup. I have played so many games and there is no point that I’m just coming to play. I’ve come to win. “And that’s the same mentality I want to put in the younger ones — to win. I know for some of them, it is just their first time and they just want to play but they need to have the mentality of going to win.
“That is the mentality that I have and hopefully, I can translate this from my performance on the pitch and outside the pitch when talking to them. “Hopefully, we can do great things in Egypt.” Mikel is the only Nigerian player to have represented the country at all national team levels- U-17, U-20, senior World Cups, Olympic Games and Confederations Cup.
Nigeria who has won the Afcon in 1980, 1994 and 2013 will take on Burundi in the 32nd edition of the tournament on June 22 at the Alexandria stadium, Egypt. Cable
Pix: John Mikel Obi