Former Nigerian footballer, Mikel Obi, recently spoke candidly in an interview with Dubaieye radio station about his time at Chelsea and how he felt underrated during his 11-year stint at the club. With 372 appearances for Chelsea, including winning the Champions League and Europa League, as well as lifting the League Cup twice and the FA Cup four times, Mikel’s achievements on the pitch were impressive. However, he revealed that he often felt overlooked in comparison to other high-profile players at the club.
When asked if he saw himself as an underrated player, Mikel responded, “I don’t know, I think, I think for mostly for the Chelsea fans, I think. Yeah, they probably think I was, you know, a bit underrated. But it’s not something that really got to me.” He acknowledged that while Chelsea had big names like John Terry and Frank Lampard who received much media attention, he and some other players felt that their contributions were not always recognized.
Mikel admitted to feeling jealous at times when he saw other players receiving praise for their performances, while his own efforts went unnoticed. He said, “Yeah, of course. Of course, I did because I want to be, you know, I want to win. And I think when I joined the club, the first time I joined the club, for me, it was something that I had to struggle with.” He revealed that he would have great games but often did not receive the recognition he felt he deserved in the media, while other players’ actions would be highlighted.
However, Mikel also mentioned that he eventually came to understand the system in place and learned to focus on his contribution to the team’s success rather than seeking external validation. He acknowledged, “You got to understand the system, and then finally, I understood the system, which is something I probably wouldn’t talk on the air. But obviously, there is a system that you have to go through to make sure every weekend you’re in the front newspaper.”
Despite feeling underrated, Mikel remains proud of his achievements and the role he played in helping Chelsea win titles as a team player. He reflected, “We worked as a team. Not everybody was getting the credits that they deserve.” Mikel’s experience at Chelsea taught him the importance of understanding the dynamics of the system and prioritizing team success over personal accolades.
In conclusion, Mikel Obi’s interview sheds light on his feelings of being underrated during his time at Chelsea, despite his significant contributions to the team’s success. While he initially struggled with the lack of recognition, he eventually learned to understand the system and focus on being a team player. The story serves as a reminder of the complexities of professional football and the importance of teamwork in achieving collective goals.