John Obi Mikel Reveals Reasoning for Joining Chelsea Ahead of Manchester United in 2006 – Sports Illustrated

John Obi Mikel has revealed the reason as to why he chose to sign for Chelsea ahead of Manchester United and had to make sure that the decision he made was the right one.

The Nigerian joined the club in 2006 despite signing a pre-contract with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

In an honest interview with the Athletic, Mikel revealed why he joined Chelsea.

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The midfielder opened up on three of his Nigerian friends that he brought to London with him.

Emmanuel Sarki was on Chelsea’s books with Mikel but never made it at the club and was his flatmate at the time whilst Chinedu Obasi and Ezekiel Bala also came with Mikel to England.

Speaking on his decision to join Chelsea, Mikel suggested that it was also life changing for his friends.

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He said: “When I chose Chelsea, it wasn’t just my life that changed. There were four lives that changed. Why? Because if I didn’t, Chelsea might not have anything to do with my three friends.

“I was close to them. I knew their families. I didn’t just make the decision for myself. I thought about them, I thought about their families. This gave them more of a chance.

The decision proved to be a smart one as Mikel lifted every trophy that was on offer during his time at Chelsea, including a history making Champions League title in 2012.


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