John Obi Mikel, the Captain of Nigeria’s Super Eagles, has refused to accept the opinion of many that his absence played a role in Nigeria’s 0-2 loss to South Africa.
Mikel was ruled out of the game after having surgery to cure a long standing groin issue which resurfaced during a training session with his Chinese team Tianjin Teda.
The former Chelsea ace is in the final phase of his rehabilitation in Qatar, and said that the loss Nigeria suffered in the hands of South Africa can’t be narrowed down to his absence from the AFCON 2019 Qualifiers tie.
“Saying my absence cost the team is an insult to the talented players we have in the team. It could have happened even if I played, you never can tell. The players had a bad day and we will definitely bounce back with or without me.
“In football you can’t win all the time. We have a young squad who are very talented and the lesson learnt from the loss will make them better equipped for our remaining games in the World Cup and AFCON Qualifiers,” Mikel said.