Iwobi snubs uncle Okocha, names another former Super Eagles captain his ‘idol’

Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi has paid tribute to former Chelsea and Super Eagles midfielder Mikel John Obi, describing him as a legend.

The 27-year-old had a sterling campaign with the Cottagers, scoring five goals and providing two assists in 30 games, as well as achieving milestones previously held by some Nigerian greats, one of whom was Mikel.

Alex Iwobi snubs uncle Okocha, names another former Super Eagles captain his 'idol'
Photo by Icon Sport

The former Arsenal player went past the 16,289-minute mark in Fulham’s 1-0 loss to Newcastle, eclipsing Mikel who previously had the record for most minutes played in the Premier League by a Nigerian while at Chelsea from 2006 to 2017. Iwobi did so in two fewer games (247) than Mikel managed — and three years quicker, too.

Alex Iwobi's emotional tribute to Mikel after shattering Premier League record this season

Reflecting on his achievement of breaking Mikel's record for the Nigerian player with the most minutes in the English Premier League, Alex Iwobi expressed his determination to continue progressing and acknowledged Mikel's status as a legend in the game.

“That’s (breaking Mikel’s record) crazy, but I’m not trying to stop. I’m trying to increase that, keep going, and whoever is going to come for that title has got to put in hard work,” Iwobi said during an interview with UK radio station Kiss Fresh.

“That’s a big achievement because (Mikel John Obi) is a legend in the game. The fact that I’ve played with him makes me feel old. He was actually my idol at one point. He’s a legend.”

Alex Iwobi snubs uncle Okocha, names another former Super Eagles captain his 'idol'
Photo by Icon Sport

Mikel reached the pinnacle of his international career in 2013 when he helped the Super Eagles annex their third AFCON trophy, and was also part of Nigeria’s Olympic team that won a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics. During Mikel's tenure at Chelsea, he won one UEFA Champions League title, two Premier League titles, four FA Cup trophies, two Football League Cup titles, one FA Community Shield, and one Europa League title.

Iwobi, on the other hand, has played in England all his life. The 27-year-old started his career at Arsenal and was promoted to the senior team in the 2015/2016 season. He spent four years with the Gunners’ senior team, where he played over 100 matches across all competitions, including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

Avatar photo
Godfred Budu

Godfred Budu, a Ghanaian sports journalist, brings a dynamic perspective to the field with over a decade of experience. Having contributed to esteemed platforms such as Kickgh.com and Inkandkicks.com. Godfred is recognised for his insightful commentary and in-depth analysis of African football.
His passion for storytelling and commitment to accuracy have established him as a trusted authority in sports journalism in Ghana, captivating audiences with his engaging narratives and unparalleled expertise.
Godfred holds a degree in Integrated Development Studies (Social and Development Administration option) from the University for Development Studies, Ghana.