PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel - Super Eagles skipper praised by NFF president

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: John Obi Mikel - Super Eagles skipper praised by NFF president
Nigeria's John Obi Mikel

by Graeme Jackson

Monday Dec 11, 2017. 10:00

It remains a quiet time for Nigerian star John Obi Mikel, who is not in action for either the national team or his Chinese Super League side Tianjin TEDA.

Yet he remains a newsworthy subject, with Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) president Amaju Pinnick lavishing praise on the player last week.

"Mikel Obi has been super. He has carried the team so well and they believe in him," Pinnick said to the BBC.

"We are very happy with what we have been able to mould together because it is very rare in Nigeria. In the past, you've had several leaders in the Super Eagles but now we have just one Super Eagles.

"The team spirit is what has been counting for us on the field and off the field.

"The players were part of it from the beginning. We sat down and negotiated, we didn't just say - 'put your signature on this'.

"We gave them the document to go and study and they spoke among themselves and made a little adjustment before they signed it.

"We want to make sure we don't have any mistakes going to the World Cup. We are going to have a press conference (on December 11) to reveal our roadmap to Russia - all the friendly games that we have earmarked.

"We will play a minimum of five games leading up to the World Cup. They will all be strong technical teams and we have based our choices on some of the teams in our group."

Nigeria were draw with Argentina, Croatia and Iceland in Group D for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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