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Former Chelsea star: Choosing Blues over Manchester United ‘best decision of my life’

The midfield star was speaking after announcing his retirement

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has branded his decision to turn down Manchester United in favour of Chelsea as ‘the best decision I have ever made’ after he announced his retirement from Football in September.

Mikel was on the verge of signing for Manchester United, only for the Blues to swoop in and steal him from under the noses of their rivals all the way back in 2006, forking out £18m to ensure that they snagged the Nigerian midfielder’s signature.

And he went on to make 372 appearances for the Blues across his 12 year stint in west London, winning the Premier League on two occasions as well as 4 FA Cups, a Champions and Europa League and 2 Carabao Cups in a glittering career, which also yielded success on the National stage with an Africa Cup of Nations win.

“I don’t regret any decision I made because I enjoyed everything I achieved at Chelsea – it’s the best decision I have ever made in my life”, Mikel told BBC Sport Africa after bringing his career to an end.

“I signed a pre-contract for Manchester United when I was 17. If you are a kid and you see Sir Alex Ferguson right in front of you with the contract, of course you will be tempted”, he explained, only for the then Teenager to opt for a move to Stamford Bridge, joining up with Jose Mourinho.

“Mourinho decided that he wanted me to play the defensive midfield position. At the end of the day, he is the coach and made the decision,” Mikel recalled.

“[Claude] Makelele was just finishing his career at Chelsea, so Mourinho wanted me to take over from Makelele.”

Safe to say, while he often went under the radar in a star-studded Chelsea side, Mikel was an integral part of the Blues’ success.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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