It’s been said that Nigerians are so industrious that they can be found in almost every country in the world. In these countries, they have come to hold quite important roles in their different spheres of lives. Football is definitely not left out in this as several Nigerians have dominated and are still dominating popularly clubs. John Michael Nchekwube Obinna popularly known as Mikel Obi is one of such gifted Nigerian stars.
John Michael Nchekwube Obinna variously known as John Obi Mikel, John Mikel Obi or Mikel John Obi was born in Jos, a Middle Belt city of Nigeria on Wednesday, April 22nd, 1987. John Mikel Obi was born and raised in Jos, the capital of Plateau state. Mikel who is a native of Anambra state is the son of Michael Obi, a businessman who runs an interstate transport company in Jos. He had his primary school education at Jos Metropolis Township primary School where he found his passion for kicking balls.
Mikel Obi is married to his Russian wife, Olga Diyachenko who is also a model. They have two kids together.
Mikel Obi started his football career at the age of 12 where he was picked up by the Pepsi Football Academy, a scouting team in Nigeria. He was selected by the scouts to play for one of the top club sides in Nigeria, Plateau United, as side already known for developing stars like Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna, Chris Obodo and so on.
Following the tournament, he went on to a trial at South Africa club Ajax Cape Town, ultimately joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway. During preparations for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships, the Nigerian Football Association (NFA) mistakenly submitted “Michael” as “Mikel” for the tournament in Finland. He decided to keep the new name, saying that it had a “special ring to it.” On 31 July 2006, he stated that he prefers to be called Mikel John Obi instead of John Obi Mikel, as he had most commonly been called. In the summer of 2005, Mikel played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Youth Championships held in the Netherlands. He had an excellent tournament until Nigeria reached the final, where they lost 2–1 to Argentina. Obi won the Silver Ball after being voted the tournament’s second-best player.
On 2 June 2006, Chelsea, Manchester United and Lyn reached a settlement to resolve the future of the player. Mikel’s registration was to be transferred from Lyn to Chelsea; Manchester United agreed to end their option agreement with Mikel. Under the terms of this agreement, Chelsea agreed to pay United £12 million, half paid upon the finalization of the contract and the other half in June 2007, and Lyn £4 million, half payable immediately and a half in June 2007. As a result of this settlement, all claims in this matter were withdrawn. On 19 July 2006, Chelsea was granted a work permit for the midfielder after they completed the £16 million signings in June 2006.
On 4 November 2016, it was announced that the club would not be renewing his contract when it expired at the end of the season. Chinese club Tianjin TEDA signed Mikel by free transfer on 6 January 2017. On 14 April 2018, he scored his second league goal for Tianjin and the first goal of the season against Guangzhou R&F F.C. After two years in China Mikel joined English Championship team Middlesbrough on a short-term deal in the 2019 winter transfer window. The 31-year-old was a free agent after leaving Chinese side Tianjin Teda
Mikel Obi’s fame has earned him a lot of endorsements with top brands including a five year deal worth N800 million with Amstel Malta along with actress Genevieve Nnaji and a to year deal worth N20 million with Peak milk.
Mikel Obi owns fleets of cars including a Range Rover Sport, Mercedes G-wagon, Bently Continental GT and he also owns a house estimated to worth over E200,000. John Mikel Obi net worth is estimated at a sum of $60 million USD as of 2018.
light sleeper, heavy dreamer.