By Sedara Oluwadara
Super Eagles legend John Obi Mikel says joining Chelsea over Manchester United was his career-best decision.
The midfielder, who retired last week at the age of 35, was the subject of a bitter transfer dispute between the Red Devils and the Blues in 2005, before signing for the latter the following year.
His decision to move to London, having initially signed for the Manchester side from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo, ultimately proved rewarding.Mikel became one of the club’s most decorated players, winning the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier Leagues, two League Cups and four FA Cups in an 11-year spell which ended when he left Stamford Bridge in 2017.
“I don’t regret any decision I made because I enjoyed everything I achieved at Chelsea – it’s the best decision I have ever made in my life,” Mikel told BBC Sport Africa.”I signed a pre-contract for Manchester United when I was 17.
If you are a kid and you see Sir Alex Ferguson right in front of you with the contract, of course, you will be tempted.”Having made plenty of previous running, Chelsea were shocked when he signed for their rivals.
His agent John Shittu immediately travelled to Oslo to take the player to London, while Lyn swiftly declared him missing.
The news was all over Norwegian TV, with erroneous reports Mikel had been kidnapped.”I acted as a young kid and as soon as Chelsea heard the news, they came and got me out of Norway,” recalled the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner. “That’s when people started saying that I was kidnapped.
It wasn’t a great moment for me then. I just wanted to play football because I was so young.”