Chelsea star, Mikel Obi, has been named the new Super Eagles captain barely 24 hours to the crucial games against the Pharaohs of Egypt in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying series.
While Mikel had been one of the most senior players in the national team, he was overlooked by former coach, Sunday Oliseh, who instead opted for Ahmed Musa as replacement for Vincent Enyeama as the Eagles skipper.
However, interim boss, Samson Siasia, at a press conference in Kaduna on Thursday, upturned the table for Mikel to get the captain’s armband.
Mikel represented Nigeria at the U-17 and U-20 levels at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and won the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament, behind Lionel Messi, as Nigeria finished runner-up to Argentina.
He made his debut for the Super Eagles on August 17, 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya.
He did not play for the national team again prior to being named in the squad for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations.
Mikel made his FIFA World Cup debut during the 2014 tournament in Brazil, winning a Man-of-the-Match award in the Super Eagles’ opening game against Iran and helping the team to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 1998.