Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi has revealed that his quest to ensure that Nigeria berths at the Russia 2018 World Cup was a decisive factor that propelled his recent move to China.
Mikel became the latest big player in the English Premier League to join the Chinese Super League by money rush after leaving Chelsea for Tianjin Teda for a £140,000 a week three-year deal.
The Rio 2016 bronze medalist insisted that rather than warming the bench for Chelsea handler Antonio Conte, his present sojourn to Asia after shunning interests from the likes of Valencia and Inter Milan was not only on monetary gains but for the interest of Nigeria.
The 29-year-old Eagles skipper has always been optimistic of Nigeria’s bright chance of securing one of the five tickets ceded to Africa for the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“I could easily have stayed in Chelsea for the remaining six months of my contract but it won’t be in the best interest of my nation, as they need me match fit when the World Cup 2018 qualifiers resume.
” It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I seriously need matches to stay fit for Nigeria. Nigerians don’t deserve to miss out of the World Cup after back to back failure to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations,” Mikel told Owngoalnigeria.com.