Gernot Rohr stylishly confirms Mikel Obi’s retirement after AFCON bronze medal triumph
Gernot Rohr led Nigeria to win bronze medal at the 2019 AFCON championship – The German boss admits he will have to start shopping for Mikel Obi’s replacement – Rohr’s current deal with the Super Eagles expire in 2020 having joined them in 2016 Nigeria’s technical adviser Gernot Rohr seems to have stylishly announced the retirement of captain John Obi Mikel from the national team. The 32-year-old was an unused substitute in Nigeria’s 1-0 win over Tunisia as they claimed bronze medal at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations championship in Egypt. Mikel only made two appearances at the 32nd edition of the championship owing to the injury he suffered at the group stage.
The German-born tactician however admits that it was time to start shopping for the former Chelsea midfielders replacement in his quest to build a formidable team for the country.
Rohr said after the match that: “We have to salute Mikel’s great career, he didn’t play in the qualifiers but it was good for the team that he is here. “Now we have to look at others, but we don’t have many midfielders in top clubs. We have Semi Ajayi, Iwobi, Etebo, Ndidi. But we have to work hard to find a replacement,” the German said. Mikel broke into the Super Eagles team in 2006 – just one year after emerging the second best player after Lionel Messi at the 2005 FIFA World Cup in Holland. He made the Nigeria squad to AFCON championship in Egypt 13 years ago and scored his first goal at the continental championship against Zimbabwe in their final group D game. In 2013, Mikel was part of the Super Eagles team that won the continental title under late coach Stephen Keshi.
Coach Gernot Rohr men got the game off to a bright start in the early minutes of the game after Odion Ighalo handed his side the lead in the 3rd minute of the match. The striker tapped in the ball from a goalmouth scramble from the Tunisian danger zone after Jamilu Collins made a run into the opponent’s defence from the left flank.