Mikel Obi Reveals How Okocha, Kanu Shaped His Destiny
Super Eagles of Nigeria captain, John Mikel Obi, has singled out two Nigerian greats, Austin Okocha and Nwankwo Kanu, as those who inspired him as a teenage footballer as he expressed his respect for the two living legends.
The Nation quoted him as saying this in an exclusive interview conducted by Kunle Solaja of the Sports Village Square.
According to him, “As a young player, I drew so much inspiration from two of the best stars Nigeria ever produced. I grew up looking up to (Nwankwo) Kanu and (Austin) Jay Jay Okocha. I enjoyed watching them play for their respective club sides. More importantly, their exploits in the national team really thrilled me. In their later years, I played in the Super Eagles with them. They were highly motivating to me. But on the global stage, Zinedine Zidane was my all-time hero.”
Another player he has greater respect for is the Barcelona and Argentina forward, Lionel Messi – a five-time World Footballer of the Year award winner.
In his words: “There is no controversy. Lionel Messi is simply the greatest footballer to have ever played football. Across many competitions, I have been on the same pitch with him. I therefore know what I am saying.”