Former Nigeria international John Mikel Obi has retired from football at the age of 35, declaring himself “very satisfied with all I was able to achieve” during 18 years in the game.
The two-time Premier League winner has brought down the curtain on an 18-year senior career that included 11 years at Stamford Bridge.
At club level, Mikel is most fondly remembered for his time at Chelsea, where he spent 11 trophy-laden years.
The midfield enforcer played 372 games in total for the Blues, winning every major honour on offer in the process including the 2011/12 Champions League.
Mikel announced his retirement on his instagram saying,
“There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’, and for my professional football career, that day is today.
“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.
“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, team-mates and most importantly my ever-loyal fans. You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you
“I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career to never give up on their dreams, for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.
“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.”