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Nigeria: China Was Very Tough for Me, Mikel Confesses

Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi has thrown the lid off the real reasons behind his decision to terminate his contract with Tianjin Teda of China and head back to Britain, as he says two years in The Oriental Nation was too tough for him.

Though Mikel insisted he would not categorically say he regretted moving to China, the Super Eagles’ skipper admits two years he spent with Tianjin brought up a stark difference from the comfort he had been used to with Chelsea of England.

Mikel is back in Queensland and picking up remarkable form, such that he is again in demand for the upcoming summer transfer window, with a couple of clubs outside England again in the long queue.

However, the veteran player, who started his career at Lyn Oslo before joining Chelsea in 2005, may not think of leaving England any longer, as he says the experience had in China was a drastic change on and off the pitch, in terms of comfort, quality and value.

Mikel expatiated: “It was two years of a huge culture shock. The food was a problem, the lifestyle, the style in which everything was done.

“When you have been at a club like Chelsea in the Premier League for 11 years, it was very hard to adapt to how things were done.

“It isn’t at the elite level, let’s put it that way. The pitches were poor, stadiums poor, and the medical facilities were not what I was used to.

“I’m not saying it’s all the Chinese clubs. Some of them are quite professional, but the one I was at, it wasn’t as it should have been.

“It became tough for me almost straight away. I wouldn’t say I regretted it, I had a good time with my team-mates, but it was never easy.”


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