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Jon Obi Mikel has revealed the real reason he chose Chelsea over Man United and it's class

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John Mikel Obi enjoyed eleven years at Chelsea, winning the lot.

It was an up and down career, however, frequently moving between not being good enough, being the best defensive midfielder at the club, and a role as a very useful squad player.

Still, eleven years, two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, a League Cup, a Europa League title, and, of course, a Champions League trophy shows off an incredible career for Mikel.

But it very, very nearly went a different way for the Nigerian.

Mikel was one of the hottest young players in football back in 2005 after that year's FIFA Youth Championships saw him narrowly lose out to Lionel Messi as both a winner and the best player.

Interest from both Chelsea and Manchester United were strong enough that both teams thought they'd signed him - only for the confusion surrounding his representation to complicate matters.

Mikel was presented as a United player in a United shirt back in 2006 only for Chelsea to fight the signing.

Eventually, Chelsea paid United £12 million for a player they didn't technically own but the decision was ultimately Mikel's - and he recently revealed exactly why he chose the Blues.

Writing a piece for The Players' Tribune, Mikel detailed exactly what things were like during one of the craziest transfers in history.

"I’ll tell you what happened," he wrote. "I had all these people on both sides fighting over me - agents, managers, strangers, guys handing me papers.

Nigerian soccer player John Obi Mikel sm

"I had Sir Alex Ferguson calling me on the phone on one side, and I had Roman Abramovich on the other side, putting me up in London, hiding me somewhere where only a few people knew where I was.

"It was really confusing, and I was a kid, you know?"

As for the decision itself, Mikel had a simply brilliant reason for choosing Chelsea.

"You know what made my mind up?" he explained. "Chelsea had signed three other players from Nigeria along with me - they were staying with me at the house in London to keep me company.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Final

"These guys … their lives depended on the decision I was making.

"If I went to United, they were gone. If I went to Chelsea, they were going to have a career - no matter how long it lasted, that was important to me, just to give them a chance, you know?

"I chose Chelsea, and four lives changed that day."

Few players will ever have made such a tough decision in such a selfless way - Mikel deserves a lot of respect for his.

Topics:
John Obi Mikel
Football
Lionel Messi
Premier League
Manchester United

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