Nigeria star to return to Super Eagles for first time since World Cup for AFCON 2019

Super Eagles captain John Mike Obi, who has not featured for Nigeria since the 2028 FIFA World Cup in Russia, is set to return to the national team for the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.

Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi is poised to return to the team ahead of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt after self-imposed 11 months absence reports from Completesports. Mikel last featured for the three in their 2-1 loss to Argentina at the FIFA 2018 World Cup in Russia missing the Super Eagles last seven games.

But after a meeting with the Super Eagles coaching staff last Saturday in London, the former Chelsea Tianjin TEDA midfielder stated that he was “strong, fit and ready to return” to the team for the AFCON according to Osasu Obayiuwana, a member of Nigerian Football Federation reforms committee.

“A top NFF official, in a frank ‘off-the-record’ discussion with me, wondered if it wouldn’t be disruptive for Mikel to return, after being absent from the team for a year. He was critical of Mikel’s attitude, to his colleagues and officials, during his self-imposed absence,” Obayiuwana tweeted.

“But the decision to include Mikel – and whether he’ll regain the captain’s band – is purely down to the Super Eagles Head Coach, Gernot Rohr, who is expected to name his 26-man AFCON preliminary squad this week.”

Mikel made 18 appearances for Middlesbrough and scored one goal. Should Mikel be named in Nigeria’s provisional squad the 32-year-old will be making his fourth AFCON appearance since he made his debut at the tournament in 2006. Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will set up a camp in Asaba, Delta State from June 2, play a friendly with the Warriors of Zimbabwe on June 8 and fly to Egypt the following day where they will face Senegal Senegal in Ismailia on 16th June.

Three-time champions Nigeria will be up against Burundi on 22nd June, confront Guinea on 26th June and tackle Madagascar on 30th June, all in Alexandria.

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