Could Mikel Lead Nigeria to Glory? | Kwesé

Could Mikel Lead Nigeria to Glory?

Could Mikel Lead Nigeria to Glory?

13:30 SAST | 04 Jun 2018

Watch all 64 World Cup games LIVE on Kwesé TV.

Some footballers have the touch of magic about them. Nigeria's John Obi Mikel is surely one of them. The man from Jos, Plateau State, had some controversial moments in his youth, but now at a mature 31, has settled into his role as the Super Eagles' senior statesman. Mikel enjoyed a remarkable career with Chelsea, winning the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier League and three FA Cup titles. In 2013 Mikel was part of the Nigerian team that won the Africa Cup of Nations (held in South Africa).

Russia 2018 will almost certainly be his last chance at FIFA World Cup glory. He will be anchoring the Super Eagles in his central midfielder role, looking to release the likes of Victor Moses (Chelsea) and Alex Iwobi (Arsenal). There's no doubt that Nigeria have the firepower to score, but will their defence hold come 16 June?

Croatia vs Nigeria (Kwesé Free Sports, 16 June at 20.45 CAT)

Carl Ikeme's leukaemia diagnosis has meant the Super Eagles are without their first-choice stopper. Ikeme will give the Super Eagles motivation. As manager Gernot Rohr put it, "He's struggling for his life and we will play for him at this World Cup." But there's no doubt that Mikel and co would rather be playing with Ikeme than for him. Deportivo La Coruna keeper Francis Uzohu, who is only 19, is likely to be Rohr's first choice. Without an experienced goal-keeper, Mikel may have to fall back in a more defensive role. Chances are he'll have the energetic Wilfred Ndidi to his right going forward, and the highly-rated Leon Balogun to his right tracking back.  

The more time Mikel spends on the ball, the more chances Moses and Iwobi will have to score, and the less pressure Uzohu will face in goal. Nigeria's hopes rest on the rangy midfielder. Mikel has all the experience in the world and is still in fine physical shape.

And in a major coup for Kwesé Sports, Mikel was announced as their brand ambassador (watch interview with Mikel here). What brand wouldn’t want to be associated with his on-field excellence and off-field poise? On the announcement he referred to the partnership as "amazing" and "a massive deal for me and also for Kwesé". He also said, "I'm ready to help Kwesé to cover Africa". Kwesé Sports is covering the FIFA World Cup for Africa, bringing the continent 32 LIVE games from Russia, free on Kwesé Free Sports, with the full 64 games LIVE on Kwesé TV. 

Nigeria vs Iceland (Kwesé Free Sports, 22 June at 16.45 CAT)

Nigeria vs Argentina (Kwesé Free Sports, 26 June at 19.45 CAT)

Do you want to watch the FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in Russia on 14 June? Kwesé Free Sports is the exclusive free-to-air broadcaster for the event and will screen 32 games LIVE, including all games involving African teams. But if you want the full FIFA World Cup experience, with all 64 games LIVE in HD, then get Kwesé TV.




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