Exclusive – Why Super Eagles Captain Mikel Shunned Roma, Wolfsburg For Middlesbrough

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Captain of the senior national team of Nigeria John Obi Mikel recently joined English Championship side Middlesbrough following the mutual termination of his contract with Chinese side Tianjin Teda.

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Mikel played two seasons in China before terminating his contract in favour of a return to England, where he spent ten and half seasons with English Premier League side Chelsea.

His decision to drop a level to the English Premier League came as a surprise to many considering the offers he received from top teams in Europe, notably German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg and Italian Serie A outfit Roma.

The Super Eagles captain decided to return to England to be close to his family with his children now older than when he made the decision to move to China, hence he want to be close to them.

Furthermore, Mikel has phobia for flying particularly during take offs and the past few years in China has been hell for him flying to be with his family in England and moving to another country could have similar effect in terms of flying to be with his children.