Chelsea legend John Mikel Obi Tuesday officially announced his retirement from football.
The Nigerian, who played a key role as the Blues secured a first Champions League trophy in 2012, made the announcement on his personal Instagram account having most recently been with Kuwait SC.
Having given the Blues over a decade of service after signing as a fresh-faced 19 year-old, the midfielder lifted every major honour, which included two Premier League titles, the Champions League and the Europa League, among others. He clocked up a mammoth 372 appearances in a Chelsea shirt.
Mikel also turned out in England in recent years for Middlesbrough and Stoke City in the Championship and released the following on his Instagram page on Tuesday afternoon…
The midfielder was also a long-standing member of the Nigeria team, earning 91 caps since making his debut as a teenager in 2005.
However, having been without a club for over 10 months, the veteran has made the decision to hang up his boots.
As well as winning the Africa Cup of Nations with Nigeria in 2013, Mikel represented his country at the 2014 World Cup and claimed an Olympic bronze medal in 2016.
After a two-year with China with Tianjin TEDA, Mikel returned to English football with Middlesbrough, playing a season at the Riverside Stadium before moving to Turkish side Trabzonspor.
Having won the Turkish Cup, Mikel again accepted a contract at an English club, this time being Stoke City, and 39 appearances were made in the Championship during 2020-21.
‘There is a saying that “all good things must come to an end”, and for my professional football career, that day is today,’ the post reads.
‘I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.
‘All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, team-mates and most importantly my ever-loyal fans. You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.
‘I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career to never give up on their dreams, for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.
‘This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.’