Zunis Stopilla of Zambia challenges Obi Mikel of Nigeria during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier football match between Nigeria and Zambia on 07 October 2017 at Godswill Akpabio Stadium, Uyo, Nigeria ©Kabiru Abubakar/BackpagePix
Monday Feb 19, 2018. 10:00
Former Nigeria coach Samson Siasia believes John Obi Mikel is every bit as good as Croatia midfielders Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic.
The Super Eagles will face Croatia in their first 2018 World Cup match on June 16, and captain Mikel is set to face a tough battle in the engine room when he comes up against Modric and Rakitic, who play for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
Yet this should be no problem for the Tianjin Teda midfielder, according to former mentor Siasia.
“Mikel is in the same quality with Modric and Rakitic, even though Modric plays in Real Madrid,” the former Nigeria boss told Goal.
“Mikel has played in Chelsea for many years and he is doing well in the Chinese Super League. I think they will fight for that position on the field of play.”
In the meantime, Mikel continues to be in pre-season preparation for the 2018 Chinese Super League.
Tianjin Teda will open their campaign with a clash at home to Hebei CFFC on Saturday, March 3.