John Mikel Obi Lifts Lid on Why African Footballers Struggle Financially Despite Huge Wages Abroad

John Mikel Obi Lifts Lid on Why African Footballers Struggle Financially Despite Huge Wages Abroad

Lukman Mumuni
November 19, 2023 at 9:40 AM
  • John Mikel Obi has disclosed the reason why African players struggle financially
  • The former Nigeria midfielder played for Chelsea, Middlesborough and Stoke City in England
  • Mikel Obi retired in 2022 after almost two decades in active football

Former Nigeria and Chelsea midfielder, John Mikel Obi has opened up on the financial struggles of African players abroad despite earning huge wages.

The ex-Super Eagles captain has blamed heavy family burdens on footballers as the main source of their struggles.

Mikel Obi spent over a decade at Chelsea and remains one of the most successful African players in the English Premier League.

John Mikel Obi, Nigeria, Chelsea, FIVE UK
John Mikel Obi speaking on the FIVE UK Podcast with Rio Ferdinand. Credit: @FIVEUK @Chelsea
Source: Twitter

In a chat with former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand and his FIVE UK crew, Mikel Obi disclosed how family members quickly switch to the media if you don't help them.

"You get threatened by your own blood," he said. "When you come from Africa, and this is something we don't talk about a lot. When you make money, it is not your money," he added.
"These relatives, cousins, whatever you call them. Your sisters, they just marry someone, who wants to marry into John Obi Mikel's family, because then my life is sorted.
"Then you start looking after this guy before you know, they are having so many kids and you are looking at them like? It's you! So you owe them now. Then they give you this thing that, if you don't sort us out, we go to the press."

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner also played for Middlesborough and Stoke City in England, before spells in Turkey and China, per transfermarkt.

Mikel Obi opens up on Benitez's Chelsea struggle

Earlier, Sports Brief reported that Nigerian legendary midfielder John Mikel Obi explained Rafael Benitez's struggles during his time as Chelsea manager.

The former Real Madrid gaffer was named Chelsea manager on an interim basis after Champions League winner Roberto di Matteo was sacked at the beginning of the 2012-13 season.

The Spanish manager led the Blues to the UEFA Europa League victory that season, but could not keep the job permanently.

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Lukman Mumuni
Lukman Abdul Mumin is a Sports Journalist based in Accra, Ghana. He has been writing for the past five years. Lukman joined Sports Brief as an Editor for the Local Desk in 2022.
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