Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel has revealed that former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte froze him out of his squad for choosing to represent Nigeria at the 2016 Olympics.
Mikel led Nigeria’s Dream Team IV to a bronze medal success at the Rio 2016 Olympics, and on his return he was left out of Conte’s squad, which forced him to join Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda in January 2017.
“For me, it was a decision I had to take because when the opportunity came up to either go to Rio or play for Chelsea,” Mikel said in a chat with NFF Media.
“I decided that Victor Moses, who was the younger and hasn’t played yet for the club, should stay back while I go to the Olympics.
“Victor stayed back and I went but when I got back the manager never spoke to me again and did not even put me in the team, so I had to leave the club.
“For me, my commitment to play for the national team will never change until I stop playing.”
Mikel is currently in camp with the Super Eagles ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations campaign in Egypt.
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