.Solicits Tinubu’s supports
By MADUABUCHUI KALU
Super Eagles’ and Tianjin TEDA of China Captain, John Obi Mikel, as a part of his vacation at the end of Chinese Super League, last week launched John Obi Mikel Foundation.
As a part of the launching ceremony, the Anambra State-born Super Eagles star, took time out to pay a visit to All Progressives Progress (APC) national leader, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu at his residence Bourdillon in Ikoyi Lagos to solicit his support.
Mikel was led to Tinubu’s home by the first Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who also doubles as the Lagos State FA Chairman, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi.
According to Mike, the foundation is all about providing opportunity for young talented football players to realise their dream of being football players.
Mikel disclosed during the historic meeting to the strongman of Lagos politics that his foundation is talent hunt aimed at discovering ‘Africa’s Next Football Superstars’ by creating the enabling environment and opportunity to enable such players realise their dream of becoming football players at the global stage.
The former Chelsea midfielder, who achieved a lot while at the West London Club (Chelsea) won two EPL titles, three FA Cups, one Football League Cup as well as the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in his 11 years illustrious football career at the Stamford Bridge; was perhaps baffled when Senator Tinubu showed his deep knowledge of the round leather game.
While receiving Mikel and his entourage, Senator Tinubu expressed happiness to receive Mikel saying that he is a great fan of the round leather game even as he confessed that he is an unapologetic fan of Manchester United. Tinubu described Mikel as a great talent saying despite the fact that he is not a fan of the Blues; he tried as much as possible to watch Chelsea games when Mikel was still at the Stamford Bridge.
“I’m very proud and honoured to receive you (Mikel). I’m a great fan of football even though not much of a fan of your former club (Chelsea). I sincerely tried to watch Chelsea all the time you were there because you are a great talent,” Tinubu declared while receiving Mikel and his team.
“Chelsea is not my club but he (Mikel) is my club and we will support his project. I’m a Man United fan to the core,” the APC chieftain declared..
“Last weekend, I watched the Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea game with one eye because I’m always envious of Chelsea. II always wish we (Manchester United) beat them. I sympathise with him (Mikel), his former club had to take a hit from Tottenham.
“When Mikel was there however, I watched Chelsea each time he was on the pitch with both eyes because he’s a great talent. It’s been a wonderful homecoming for him and we will do everything to support him.”
It is true that the former Lagos State governor may not be a Chelsea supporter or fan, he admitted his love for the Super Eagles’ captain which forced him to visit Stamford Bridge to watch the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner in action for the Blues.
“I’ve been to Chelsea to watch their games because of him (Mikel). I always want him to win, he’s a great midfielder. He’s helped the club a lot, he’s brought the name of the club up, he has the team spirit which made Chelsea proud.”
When he was questioned about the dwindling fortunes of Manchester United, Senator Tinubu said: “Are we discussing only football today? Right now I’m going to play my own game, politics. Whatever is happening to Man United, no one club can stay up forever? They’ve set a great record already and we would be back on top. I think we are around number seven in the English Premier League table now. It’s too early in the season to write us off, we will never say die,” Tinubu emphatically declared.