Following Thursday’s announcement by Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, of his retirement from international football, tributes have continued to pour in for him, including from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the sport’s international governing body.
The 32- year-old midfielder made 89 appearances for his country between 2005 and 2019, scoring six times.
Paying tribute to the Nigerian legend, FIFA, on its Instagram page, said:
“Super Eagles legend, Mikel Obi, who played at the 2014 and 2018 world cup finals – has announced his retirement from international football. Congrats on an amazing Nigeria career!”
Others who also praised the footballer for his dedication to his career included famous Nigerian historian, Max Siollun, who said on Twitter:
“Congrats to him on an excellent international career. He has been an excellent servant to Nigeria’s Super Eagles for over a decade. Played at World Cup, Olympics and won the AFCON. Not much left for him to do at the international level.”“He received a call that his father had been kidnapped and still went on to play and represent Nigeria with everything he had. John Mikel Obi retires from the national team,” Oseni also said on Twitter.
In his tweet, praising the football legend, Collin O. said:
“A legend and a patriot. John Mikel Obi has paid his dues. Happy retirement to the Nigerian maestro.”
“For everything you have given to Nigeria and Nigerians, thank you, John Mikel Obi. Happy retirement from international football.”
Mikel played for Nigeria in the past two World Cups and helped the Super Eagles win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. He was part of the team that finished third at the 2006 and 2010 Nations Cups.
He made two appearances for Nigeria at the ongoing tournament in Egypt as the Super Eagles sealed a third-place finish on Wednesday.
A finalist with the youth side at the under-20 World Cup in 2005, the former Chelsea player won the silver ball as the tournament’s second-best player behind Argentina’s Lionel Messi.
He was also one of Nigeria’s three over-age players as the African side won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Brazil.