Friday, October 21, 2022 2:42 pm
With John Mikel Obi now retired from professional football, what is next for the former Super Eagles’ skipper?
The midfielder finally brought down the curtains on a glittering career in September, hanging his boots after two decades in the sport.
Mikel’s career featured a host of highlights and achievements, most of which happened while he was putting on the blue of Chelsea.
He won everything in London- the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League- but he wasn’t without success in the Super Eagles, famously guiding the nation to AFCON success in 2013.
Mikel’s playing days may now be over, but that doesn’t mean he’s done with his involvement in football.
Like most of these superstars, the legendary Nigerian is likely to remain in the game in one capacity or the other. But which direction is Mikel likely to turn? We look at some potential future roles for the former Eagles No. 10.
This is arguably the most obvious option! Some of Mikel’s Premier League contemporaries, most notably Steven Gerrard and former Chelsea teammate, Frank Lampard are now into high-level coaching, and the Nigerian must surely be tempted to test himself in the dugout.
But will he make a good coach?
Well, given the way he played the game, and captained the Eagles, Mikel looks tailor-made for a top coaching job in the near future. He was a naturally calm and intelligent footballer, adept at reading a game and finding solutions on the pitch. That already sounds like a strong CV!
It was reported a couple of years ago that former Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich had offered Mikel the chance to take up a coaching role at the club once he ended his playing career.
Perhaps, he could start things off at his former club?
Football punditry is becoming an increasingly popular field with ex-internationals.
Mikel’s Eagles predecessors, Jay Jay Okocha, Victor Ikpeba and Daniel Amokachi are amongst the most popular Nigerian stars to have carved out good names for themselves in TV punditry.
It is even more rampant with foreign players, with Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen and Alan Shearer all actively involved in the role.
Again, Mikel looks like a perfect fit for this job.
He is popular, good-looking, and very importantly, speaks very eloquently. Should Mikel ever want that line of work, he shouldn’t have any problems nailing down a top job!
Given how popular Mikel is, you’d expect brands to be falling over themselves to have him endorse their products.
Sports betting brands have especially taken a liking to ex-Nigerian players. The likes of Kanu Nwankwo, Daniel Amokachi, Finidi George, Yakubu Aiyegbeni and Jay Jay Okocha have all been, or are still involved with one betting company or the other.
Okocha, in particular, has had a strong impact on Betking. Thanks in part to the company’s association with the former Eagles playmaker, Betking has become one of Nigeria’s biggest betting sites.
Mikel has the personality and clout to make such an impact on any brand.
One thing is for sure, the highly decorated star is not lacking any options as he contemplates (or maybe already knows!) his next move.
Whatever he does, we wish him all the very best!