Former Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi, has opened up on how he was denied the coveted Africa Player of the Year Award in 2013.
In an with Dubai Eye 103.8, Mikel claimed that he was ‘criminally robbed’ of the 2013 edition after a successful campaign for both club and country.
Despite winning the UEFA Champions League in 2012, and the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations and Europa League titles to his laurels, the Nigerian was beaten to the award by Ivory Coast and Manchester City legend, Yaya Toure.
Yaya won it in the 3rd consecutive year, as the Chelsea legend further claimed that he got a call from who he didn’t mention before the ceremony informing him he had won the award, but that was not how it all panned out in Lagos, Nigeria venue of the awards.
“I was robbed. Before I went, I was told that I won it. I was at the airport flying to Nigeria, because the ceremony was in Nigeria, and guess what happened? Manchester City was playing, and Yaya scored a hat-trick or two goals
“I knew I had won it. It doesn’t matter how many goals he scored. I was in my prime, playing a lot of games. You could have seen the ceremony. Before it was even announced, everybody left the stage, people left,” Mikel said.
He also spoke on his move to join Manchester United, which was not finalised.
“First time we played in the FA Cup he shunned me walking out of the tunnel. I stumbled and almost fell. Each time we met he blanked me but I have no regrets signing for Chelsea.”
“Obviously, I signed a pre-contract with Manchester United, but before that I was playing for Lyn Oslo in Norway. Chelsea actually sent me to Lyn Oslo and nobody knew this. Chelsea was looking after me, and my family, giving me bits here and there and they were paying my school fees when I was in Norway.
“I had my trials at Manchester United before I went to Chelsea. Sir Alex Ferguson loved me and all the players loved me. Roy Keane was my biggest fan. He told Ferguson he needed to sign me. He was my protector in training.”
Mikel enjoyed a stellar career with Chelsea and Nigeria but spent the twilight of his career playing for Trabzonspor, Stoke City and Kuwait SC.