John Obi Mikel joined Chinese side Tianjin TEDA in January 2017, as a 29-year-old. Now 31, the midfielder plays for Championship outfit Middlesbrough, having joined Tony Pulis’ squad as a free agent in January.
The 85-cap Nigeria international has impressed in his time at the Riverside Stadium so far. He is obviously a top class player, having previously enjoyed great success with Chelsea.
In his decade at Stamford Bridge, Obi Mikel massed plenty of silverware, including two Premier League titles, three FA Cup winners’ medals, and one Champions League triumph.
Watch how to cross the road like a boss with freestyler Ben Nuttall in the video below…
Since his return to England, Obi Mikel has reminded everyone of his quality, and now admits that he left for the less competitive environment of Chinese football too early in his career.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Obi Mikel says of his time in China: “It was two years of a huge culture shock…When you have been at a club like Chelsea in the Premier League, for 11 years, it was very hard to adapt to how things were done. It isn’t at the elite level, let’s put it that way…I did wonder if I had made a big mistake”
The midfielder continued: “I will never say I regret it…As a life experience, I enjoyed it. Professionally, it was tough, but I had some good times…I certainly wouldn’t say to anyone under the age of 30 to go there. They will regret it if they do.”
Now back in England, Obi Mikel is looking to make up for lost time and is keen for further success with Boro. As quoted by Teesside Live, the veteran has made it clear that he would consider promotion with Middlesbrough this season to be amongst his finest professional successes: “If we manage to pull it off, it would be amazing. It would be up there as one of my greatest achievements.”