Super Eagles of Nigeria midfielder, John Obi Mikel has recalled his first training at Chelsea Cobham training ground, when he newly joined in the summer of 2006 as a 19-year-old.
In an interview on the latest edition of club magazine, John Mikel Obi, gave an insight into his role on and life off the football field.
Chelsea signs John Obi Mikel just as he clocked 19 in 2006
Approaching his 10th year at Chelsea, Mikel said:
“I came into the dressing room that day literally shaking.
“I saw the players that were in there – the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Claude Makelele, Geremi, Michael Essien, Michael Ballack, Andriy Shevchenko – it was crazy. And I was just 19.
“I was shaking the whole day because I couldn’t talk to any of them. I didn’t know what to say to guys like that. They were really nice guys, but it was scary. It can be tough coming into a dressing room like that as a younger player. You had to earn the right to be among them.”
Mikel scores his first EPL goal against Fulham in September 2013
Mikel, this season has played a key role in the Blues’ improved form in the new year. Guus Hiddink has spoken about the Chelsea midfielder glowing terms and Mikel is pleased with his role in the team.
“I love doing my defensive duties, but at the same time I love having the ball and always trying to be available so we can play out from the back,’ he said. ‘This is something we’ve talked about, something the manager has stressed – trying to play out from the back so we can always be in control of the game. I think doing this we have much more possession of the ball.
“I like having the ball and making the team play. When I was young, my natural position wasn’t as a defensive midfielder so maybe that gives me a bit of an edge.”
Hiddink charges Mikel on the training ground
Mikel can boast of two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one FA Community Shield, one UEFA Champions League and one UEFA Europa League in his ten years at Chelsea.
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