Mikel over­whelmed by Team Nige­ria ap­point­ment

Daily Trust - - SPORT -

Cap­tain of Team Nige­ria to the Rio Olympic Games and mem­ber of the Nige­ria U-23 squad, John Mikel Obi has de­scribed his ap­point­ment as over­whelm­ing.

Speak­ing from the U-23 team’s camp in At­lanta, Ge­or­gia, Mikel told thenff.com: “First and fore­most, I will say I am over­whelmed with this op­por­tu­nity to be the cap­tain of Team Nige­ria to the Rio Olympics. This is the high­est ac­co­lade you can ever have as a sports­maný and it’s one I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to.

“I am much pleased and very happy with my­self for what I have been able to achieve, and grate­ful to the Fed­eral Min­istry of Youth and Sports and the en­tire coun­try for this op­por­tu­nity.

“My ob­jec­tive is def­i­nitely go­ing to be to carry ev­ery­one along. I think it’s im­por­tant that we all work to­gether, it’s im­por­tant that we all set one goal, and that goal is to be suc­cess­ful, to win medals, to make sure we get gold medals. Our coun­try has not done very well in re­cent times at the Olympics, so hope­fully we can go to Rio and do well.”

On the bur­den his ap­point­ment has placed on him, Mikel who is also the cap­tain of the Su­per Ea­gles said: “ýIt’s mas­sive, it’s big, it’s not just the football team. I am the cap­tain of the Su­per Ea­gles. Some­times you look at it and you think that’s a big bur­den, but this is even much big­ger, it’s one that I am look­ing for­ward to.

“If you look at my track record at Chelsea, I have al­ways played for the team, I have al­ways been a team player, I have never been an in­di­vid­ual player, so I think this is some­thing I will be car­ry­ing into the Olympics and carry into Team Nige­ria to make sure that we are suc­cess­ful.” He called on Nige­ri­ans to sup­port the team and wish play­ers and officials well.

On this be­ing his first Olympics, the 29year old mid­fielder said: “I don’t think it will be a dis­ad­van­tage. I think lead­er­ship is ei­ther you have it or you don’t. Some­times, peo­ple grow into lead­er­ship and some­times peo­ple are born with lead­er­ship qual­i­ties. I think I have al­ways been in that lead­ing role since my U-17 days, even when not wear­ing the cap­tain’s band, I have al­ways had peo­ple look­ing up to me to carry the team.”

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