Super Eagles and Chelsea football club midfielder Mikel Obi has been an household name in the footballing scene for about ten years or more.Having grown up at Jos,the Northern region of Nigeria,he has gone on to have an awesome footballing career.His exploits made the two best managers in world football, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho vie for his signature in 2006.He has gone on to make 236 appearances for Chelsea and 64 appearances for Nigeria and was a key member of the team that won the 2013 AFCON tournament.Mikel is currently the captain of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.He are seven interesting facts you probably never knew about Mikel.
1. He came through the ranks at Pepsi Football Academy
Mikel started his official football career at the age of 12 when picked as a talented footballer from over 3,000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy, a team that at the time was well known for travelling across Nigeria scouting young footballers with the potential to play professionally. Obi stood out to scouts and was later picked to play for top-flight club Plateau United, a side that had previously developed stars Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna and Chris Obodo, among others, that went on to success in European leagues. Later known as John Obi Mikel, he made headlines for his country at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland. Following the tournament, he went on to a trial at South Africa club Ajax Cape Town, ultimately joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway.
2. He dated former Miss Delta State, Sandra Okagbue, yes, Flavour’s current baby mama
This much was exclusively revealed to by Mikel’s then aid, Chinenye Kanu who brokered the sizzling romance between Mikel and Sandra in 2010.“I was the brain behind the relationship between Mikel and Sandra,” Kanu began.“I knew her through a childhood friend of mine. When I discovered that apart from being beautiful, she is also blessed with good character, I decided to introduce her to Mikel believing that it might result in something fruitful in the near future, but like they say, man proposes but God disposes.“The first step I took in order to bring them together was to request for her phone number, which she humbly gave me. I forwarded it to Mikel through SMS. At the end of the day, they became friends and started chatting both on phone and on the social media.“So when Mikel came around during one of his summer holidays, I formally introduced Sandra to him. As soon as he set his eyes on her, Mikel literally ran crazy. It was like love at first sight. I knew that was going to happen because Mikel is crazy about beautiful girls. From then on, they started dating and catching fun especially whenever Mikel was in Nigeria for Super Eagles games.“Contrary to the belief of many, they didn’t usually meet in UK even though Sandra was often in London for business.To the best of my knowledge they were together in London just once and it was not in Mikel’s house. The rest of the time when they were together was in Nigeria.”
3. How did Michael become Mikel???
During preparations for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championships, the Nigerian Football Association mistakenly submitted “Michael” as “Mikel” for the tournament in Finland. He decided to keep the new name, saying that it had a special ring to it and loved how the commentators call him ‘Mikel’.On 31 July 2006, he stated that he prefers to be called Mikel John Obi instead of John Obi Michael, as he had most commonly been called.In the summer of 2005, Mikel played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Youth Championships held in the Netherlands. He had an excellent tournament until Nigeria reached the final, where they lost 2–1 to Argentina. Obi won the Silver Ball after being voted the tournament’s second best player.
4. He has a family of footballers.
Mikel Obi has an elder brother who plays in the Nigerian league as a goalkeeper for Heartland.In a recent interview, he says he’s tried to sign for clubs in Europe and younger brother, Mikel has helped him “Goalkeepers are not often in high demand in Europe. On field players are. Yes, I have been in Europe more than once but things did not work out. I hope to land a deal in Europe someday but Im not desperate about it since I know that goalkeepers don’t get offers easily.He naturally has been helpful. The few times I travelled abroad were facilitated by his contacts. Since he is playing at the highest level in the game, he has better knowledge and experience to share with me”.His younger brother tried football and was part of the people who went on trial with Pepsi Football academy but while Mikel was taken,he wasn’t.He now manages Mikel’s record label MMM records.
5. And yes!!! Mikel has a record label
His record label’s name is MMM,meaning Matured Money Minds and according to him,that is because he has serious passion for music.He says “Apart from football,music is another thing i had passion for while growing up in Jos.I have so much emotional attatchment to music,It lifts my soul and makes me happy.According to him,the arrival of MMM Records has gone a long way to show the deep love i have for music.I want to contribute my quota to develop the music industry in Nigeria.Im a good songwriter and writer.If i wasn’t a footballer,i would have done well as a singer or a disc jockey(DJ).
6. He is engaged to Russian fashionista and business woman, Olga Diyachenko and they have two kids
Who is Olga Diyachenko? Well, she is the daughter of a Russian billioniare.She is the director and co-founder of Allegra De Lago in London and has a degree in International Business and a Masters degree in Entrepreneural Management.Olga delivered the twin girls in September 2015 with Mikel writing on Facebook “My whole world in my arms. Welcome to the world my angels,” he captioned the photograph.Mikel’s girlfriend of three years, Diyachenko has however confirmed that she is the mother of the baby while also revealing the gender and names of the twins. “It’s just been 5 days, but I already can’t imagine my life without you two #pooh3 #pooh4 our precious angels Mia and Ava,” Diyachenko captained a photo of the adorable girl twins on Insatgram.
7. Mikel has two other kids with two other different women.
According to British tabloids, Chelsea footballer John Obi Mikel has a secret son and daughter by two different women living in the UK.The 29-year-old midfielder is reported to have a one year-old daughter and a four-year-old son after short relationships with the two women.Mikel, who lives in Oxshott, Surrey, bought a £500,000 detached property in the Home Counties for his son and the boy’s mother.His daughter and the girl’s 23-year-old mother are said to live in the South of England – but the two women reportedly do not know about each other.The Sun quotes a source as saying Mikel met his son’s mother at a party in London.After she gave birth, the source said, Mikel ‘agreed to give her tens of thousands a year in upkeep’ and ‘agreed to give her a new car every three to five years.’He said he wanted to play a role in the boy’s life. He and the mum are on friendly terms and she doesn’t harbour any bad feelings towards him, perhaps because he’s looked after her so well.’Mikel, who has made 64 appearances for his country, is said to have met his daughter’s mother at a nightclub in 2013. She reportedly gave birth last year.The newspaper quotes a friend of the girl’s mother as saying that Mikel has ‘provided’ for the woman and their child.The friend said: ‘She is not from a well-off family and does not now earn much, but she drives around in a new car. She seems to have come into money since having the baby and is keeping a low profile.’In an interview in Nigeria in 2014, he said: ‘I’ve been dating seriously for two years now. I’m in love. I’ve found love.’