John Obi Mikel is a Nigerian central midfielder who plays club football for Chelsea where he joined from Lyn Oslo in 2006. Although not always a starter for Chelsea Mikel has helped the club to win one Premier League and Champions League titles and several FA Cups. Mikel has been an integral player for Nigeria in the past several years where he helped his nation to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
John Michael Nchekube Obi was born April 22nd 1987 in Plateau State, Nigeria. He kept the middle name Mikel after commentators at the FIFA 2003 Under-17 World Championships mispelt his name so often and he took a shine to it. The Nigerian and Chelsea central midfielder is now known as Mikel John Obi.
Obi started playing top flight football in Nigeria aged just 15 at Plateau United and first noticed internationally at the FIFA U'17 Finals in Finland 2003. He went to Ajax Cape Town in South Africa, before his displays at the World Youth Championships had him noticed again, he next moved to Lyn Oslo in Norway where major English teams Manchester United and Chelsea started to clamour for his signing.
A long drawn out contract rangle ensued with both Man Utd and Chelsea claiming to have signed the player. Eventually it seemed John Mikel preferred a move to the English capital and he did in the end sign for the then Premier League Champions Chelsea. £12million compensation went to Manchester United as they had an initial contract with the player and Lyn Oslo as his former club also got £4million. By 2005 Mikel had made his full debut in a Nigerian shirt, before also featuring at the African Nations Cup of 2006. Mikel scored his first ever Premier League goal after 185 games without scoring on the 21st of September 2013.