Fans Make Case for Celestine Babayaro After Mikel Claimed Nigerians Support Chelsea Because of Him

Fans Make Case for Celestine Babayaro After Mikel Claimed Nigerians Support Chelsea Because of Him

Babajide Orevba
May 22, 2024 at 5:16 PM
In this article:
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J. O. Mikel
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C. Babayaro
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  • Mikel Obi has suggested that football fans from Nigeria started supporting Chelsea FC because of him
  • The incredible defensive midfielder joined the Blues in 2006 and won several laurels before leaving in 2017
  • Nigerians countered his claims, saying they started supporting the Blues during Celestine Babayaro's time

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Some Nigerians have countered claims by Mikel Obi, who stated that football fans from the country started supporting Chelsea FC because of him.

English club Chelsea have a huge fanbase in Nigeria due to the club's connection with famous African players.

Mikel joined the London club in 2006 from Norwegian outfit Lyn and was with the Stamford Bridge outfit until 2017.

Mikel Obi, Celestine Babayaro, Chelsea, EPL, Nigeria, Stamford Bridge
Mikel Obi says Nigerians started supporting Chelsea FC because of him. Photo Credit: Catherine Ivill.
Source: Getty Images

During his time with the Blues, the defensive midfielder won two Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups, one UEFA Champions League title and one Europa League Cup.

Prior to his move to England, Celestine Babayaro had a spell with Chelsea, where the left wing-back made 197 appearances and scored 8 goals, Independent reports.

Babayaro was a key member of the Blues squad between 1997 and 2005, winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, the UEFA Super Cup, one FA Cup and one FA Charity Shield.

During an episode of the Obi One podcast, Mikel suggested that Nigerian football fans started supporting Chelsea because of him.

The 37-year-old said:

"In Africa they started to support Chelsea mostly because of me and Didier Drogba.
"In Nigeria, Chelsea became popular because of me and then later because of Victor Moses."

However, some Nigerians have countered such a claim, saying they started supporting Chelsea during the time of Celestine Babayaro.

One said:

That's not true. Some African Chelsea fans joined Chelsea during Celestibe-Babayaro, Geremi-Njitap before Mikel, Drogba, Essien, Kalou, etc.
"Naija and other African Chelsea fans became more, if not the largest, when Chelsea defeated Bayern-Munich in the UEFA final to lift their first-ever Champions League."

Another added:

"Oga we know Celestine Babayaro, Geremi of Cameron before knowing you."

A fan wrote:

"Mikel dey talk sha. I have been supporting Chelsea even before George Weah. Celestine Babayaro should be the one to say this."

Siasia hits out at Mikel

Sports Brief earlier reported that former Nigeria Olympic football team handler Samson Siasia branded Mikel Obi as 'stubborn'.

Mikel was one of the three over-aged players who represented the Nigerian side at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

The then-Chelsea midfielder played a pivotal role as Nigeria claimed bronze at the summer games that year.

Babajide Orevba photo
Babajide Orevba
Babajide Orevba is a CAF accredited Nigerian journalist and HOD of the Local Desk with over 10 years of experience in media landscape.He studied NCE Political Science/Social Studies, AOCOED.