Sun 04 April 2021 | 16:30

Top facts about John Obi Mikel

How much do you know about the former Chelsea defensive midfielder Mikel Obi? Follow us below as we take a look at some of the more interesting facts about John Obi Mikel that will surely be reminiscent of better times at Chelsea.

Not so long ago about five or six years prior to 2020 and 2021, the years that helped us appreciate fans at the stadiums even more than before,


were one of the strongest contenders in England, who challenged bigger teams of the time, such as Manchester United, in the race for the Premier League title itself, while also fighting for a shot at the Champions League trophy.

During those times, there was one particular player that used to help the Blues of London in each and every game with his strength in the middle of the park.

John Obi Mikel

is the name of the now 33-year-old Nigerian footballer, who might have flown under the radar of many news outlets and the media in general, but he was quite a crucial part of Chelsea’s award-winning run in late 2000s and early 2010s.

While our tone might suggest that the footballer has long retired, Obi currently plays for Stoke City in the Championship and is in fact quite the regular at the club, where he has made more than 30 appearances since joining them in August 2020. In fact, he has played for a whole array of football teams around the world such as the Chinese side TJ Teda, English club Middlesbrough and the Turkish side Trabzonspor.

Even though he has quite a full CV, Obi Mikel is remembered by almost everyone for his time at Chelsea, where he played the best of his game and achieved the most success. Having climbed up the ranks at Plateau United during his youth days, he moved to

FK Lyn

to make his debut in the senior professional football. It did not take him long to be recognized as one of the best talents available, which is why top clubs in football were after the Nigerian.

Surely many already know about the transfer saga and all the controversy that he caused during his early years, but there are also many others who were not aware of such controversies. So if you too are curious to know more about life of the defensive midfielder, then stay with us as we go through some of the more interesting

facts about John Obi Mikel


Top facts about John Obi Mikel you probably did not know

We have provided below a set of intriguing facts about John Obi Mikel, which are definitely worth taking a look since the

Stoke City

man has had quite an interesting journey until now. You can find information ranging from

John Obi Mikel birthday

to facts about his childhood and how he rose to fame and glory with Chelsea.

Of course before we move further ahead and go through detailed info about the life of the former Chelsea midfielder, we have provided you below a list of basic details about the footballer that will give you an overview of who he is.

  • Full name: Mikel John Obi

  • Date of birth: 22 April 1987

  • Place of birth: Jos, Nigeria

  • Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)

  • Marital status: Married

  • Nickname: -

  • Current club: Stoke City

  • Jersey number: 13

  • Zodiac sign: Taurus

Now that we have taken a look at the little details about the midfielder, let’s move on and get to the interesting facts about John Obi Mikel that you probably didn’t know already.

Michael or Mikel? That is the question

Some might ask “what do you mean Michael or Mikel?” Well the Nigerian footballer was not always known by the name we all know him by today. It is of course one of the most interesting

facts about John Obi Mikel

that the name he goes by is not the name he was given at birth. While most football players tend to get their own very special and unique nicknames during their careers, with many getting several nicknames from fans and fellow teammates alike, few or maybe none would actually think of changing their actual name to the given nickname.

The former Chelsea midfielder’s former full name was John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, but has since come to be known as John Obi Mikel by everyone. While some might think that it is just a simplification of his actual name, there is in fact more to it than that, which would explain why his actual name “Michael” was changed to the more exotic “Mikel”.

The story behind this change in his name dates back to the time when he was called up to the Nigeria U17 national team for the 2003 FIFA Under-17 World Championship. That is when everything changed for the Nigerian footballer, as the Nigerian Football Association submitted their new player’s name as “Mikel” instead of Michael, which led to him being referred to as Mikel in the competition.

With this new “nickname” of his being stuck with him throughout his career and having been called Mikel John Obi or John Obi Mikel during his days at Chelsea, the midfielder finally decided that it was time for him to fully embrace the name as his own as he got his name officially changed to Mikel John Obi to also further clarify that Mikel is not his surname. This life-altering detail will always be one of the most amazing and surprising facts about John Obi Mikel for as long as time itself.

John Obi Mikel birthday and zodiac sign

John Obi Mikel birthday is on the 22nd day of April and he will be turning 34 years old in April 2021, as he was born in 1987. One of the less spectacular

facts about John Obi Mikel

is that he shares his birthday with other footballers such as former Aston Villa and

Leicester City

forward and defender Dion Dublin, former

West Bromwich Albion

defender and current Sheffield Wednesday managed Darren Moore and Charlton Athletic midfielder Darren Pratley, who were all also born on April 22.

Being born on the 22nd day of April means that the Nigeria international’s zodiac sign is Taurus, which means that he possesses positive Taurus traits such as stability and consistency, which we regularly got to see from him during his days at Chelsea, where his stability in the middle of the park and his consistency in form helped the Blues make sure they had a solid backline supporting their frontline.

John Obi Mikel childhood story

John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, currently known as John Mikel Obi, was born in the city of Jos in the middle belt of Nigeria to Pa Michael Obi and Irosu Obi. John Obi Mikel childhood was as normal as it could get for a kid in Nigeria, as he grew up in a simple family and quickly found his passion in life playing football in on the dusty football pitch of their neighborhood, which was located beside the Jos Metropolis Township Primary School that he attended.

While the youngster enjoyed his time playing football with friends, it was thanks to Alhaji Babawo Mohammed Adamu, who discovered the young talent at the same pitch, that he got the support and guidance he needed to thrive and rise up the ranks of football to become one of the best in the business. Having found his way in football thanks to Alhaji Babawo Mohammed Adamu and enrolled in the PEPSI Football Academy and having honed his skills at

Plateau United


John Obi Mikel childhood

took a life altering turn as he was called up to the U17 national team, with whom he headed to Finland for the competition that led to his name changing forever. He was later discovered by a professional football club in Norway, which was obviously Lyn 1896 Fotballklubb, whom he joined after having proven himself to the world as a youngster, and later went on to make his first professional appearance for the European club in 2005.

The transfer controversy

We get to witness drama in the world of football every day of the week and we are used to seeing controversies unraveling in front of our own eyes. But one particular matter sparked so much speculation and led to such drama that the Nigerian footballer went on to be on the headlines for quite a while back in the day. This is perhaps one of the longest and most dramatic facts about John Obi Mikel, as it took him and others involved weeks and even months to settle the matter in a civilized manner.

When the footballer turned 18 during his time at the Norwegian side Lyn, it was directly announced by Manchester United that Mikel was to join the Red Devils after signing a deal with Lyn. The news of this transfer was also published on the Premier League club’s official website as everyone awaited his presentation in later weeks. However, the deal was struck between the club and the youngster without the involvement of his agents, as they were bypassed after Obi Mikel was persuaded to negotiate with United directly and sign a four-year deal with the English club.

Lyn were initially supposed to receive £4 million from

Manchester United

for the transfer of the exciting prospect, but the move was halted as another Premier League club also announced their claim on the young boy, calling dibs on the new talent in the market. The new club were obviously Chelsea, who stated that they had already reached an agreement with Mikel and his respective agents.

Of course Lyn denied the claims made by Jose Mourinho’s team, who had also stated that they were originally planning on bringing the talent to Europe after Mikel had managed to impress the then Chelsea manager. The drama continued as each team pulled the youngster towards themselves from one side until Mikel suddenly disappeared during a match between Lyn and Klemetsrud in the Norwegian Cup. The youngster and his agent John Shittu disappeared for several days and former Lyn sporting director Morgan Andersen labelled the disappearance as kidnapping, causing the police to get involved.

After having disappeared for several days, Obi Mikel went on to the news and claimed that he was forced to sign for Manchester United despite being interested in joining Chelsea instead. Thankfully, in the end, Chelsea intervened and settled the matter by reaching an agreement with both United and Lyn, paying £12 million to their Premier League rivals and the initial £4 million to the Norwegian side. On the list of facts about John Obi Mikel, this drama was certainly one of the most interesting ones.

An actual kidnapping

While the news about his own kidnapping were false and the youngster had in fact gone into hiding back in the day, one of the more shocking facts about John Obi Mikel is that he did get to experience a horrible kidnapping at one time. Of course it was not the footballer himself who was kidnapped, but his father Pa Michael Obi, who was abducted by men who demanded ransom for his father’s safety. The Nigerian did in fact go against


in the World Cup group stage match knowing that his father was held hostage.

The kidnappers had urged the Nigerian captain not to tell anyone about the incident as they would shoot his father if any word of the kidnapping got out. The midfielder was obviously in shock and did not know what to do with such information and how to carry the burden without letting anyone around him know about the situation. He then courageously went onto the pitch and represented his country against 

Lionel Messi’

s side in the World Cup.

Thankfully the police were able to rescue his father, who got to spend days in hospital receiving emergency treatment due to all the pain and torture that he received during the abduction. Clearly when we read more about the facts about John Obi Mikel, his life managed to blow our minds even more with every stage of his life consisting of more and more drama.

John Obi Mikel wife and children

Time to know more about 

John Obi Mikel children

and wife. Luckily for Mikel Obi, while other parts of his life were full of dramatic and at times life-threatening incidents, he has had a calm and happy life with his family over the past decade. Of course he did get to experience a breakup with his former long-term girlfriend Sandra Okagbue, a Nigerian Delta Soap beauty queen. After that, however, he got to meet Olga Diyachenko after visiting a house nearby where she lived in London.

One of the facts about

John Obi Mikel wife

is that she is the daughter of a Russian billionaire, which has led to so much hatred being targeted at her by the footballer’s Nigerian fans and supporters, who somehow feel threatened by her wealth. Of course that is not the only fact about John Obi Mikel wife, since the two actually have two daughters, who are actually twins. The couple welcomed their twin daughters Mia and Ava in 2015.

John Obi Mikel Instagram, tattoos and net worth

It might go without saying that celebrities and athletes alike have all greatly benefited from having the freedom to choose from so many global social media platforms. While many use as many accounts as possible, ranging from Facebook, to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and many more to boost their fame and popularity and keep up with what is going on in the world, while also earning a quick buck by promoting their sponsors, others simply create a single or two social media accounts to keep in touch with their fans and their friends, sharing their moments with the ones they love.

John Obi Mikel Instagram

account is certainly not one to compete with the likes of

Cristiano Ronaldo

or Lionel Messi’s social media pages, as they have managed to accumulate hundreds of millions of followers from around the world. The Nigerian has less than a million followers on Facebook’s most popular platform, where he follows 73 people and shares beautiful moments of his happy family and keeps in touch with his fans by posting updates on his training sessions with Stoke City.

The defensive midfielder does not have any visible tattoos on his body, which has somehow turned into a rare sight in today’s world. However, interestingly, one Chelsea fan had in fact tattooed Obi Mikel’s name on his bottom for some reason almost seven years ago, which sparked a series of tweets about the man named Lee Mitchell who bet that Obi Mikel would not be able to score in the game against Derby and he would tattoo his name on his arse if he could.

Thankfully, for laughing purposes at least, the Nigerian did manage to score a goal and Mitchell kept his word by tattooing the footballer’s name on his bottom.

While some footballers might show off their fame and wealth by posting pictures of their extravagant travels and lifestyle, which would lead to many wondering about their salaries and overall net worth, one might not immediately think about such matters looking at

John Obi Mikel Instagram

, as the pictures on his page usually suggest a normal family of four having normal just like everyone else. Of course now that we have mentioned it, you might be wondering how much

John Obi Mikel net worth


Well to scratch that itch for you and go straight to the business at hand, if you were curious to know about John Obi Mikel net worth, then we can tell you that his overall net worth is believed to be around €40 million, which is quite an impressive figure considering he is not playing for Chelsea anymore. It goes to show that he has managed to build up on his fame and wealth throughout his illustrious career.




 for the 

latest football news

source: SportMob

DISCLAIMER! Sportmob does not claim ownership of any of the pictures posted on this website. Again, we do not host pictures or videos ourselves. Our authors merely link to the rightful owner. Lastly, Sportmob have carefully considered and reviewed all of its content. Despite that, it is possible that some information might be out-dated or incomplete.