The 2012 Champions League final is a night Chelsea fans will never forget.
In the heart of Bavaria, the Blues won the competition for the very first time, defeating Bayern Munich on penalties in their own backyard.
Didier Drogba scored a late equaliser in normal time after Thomas Muller’s opening goal, with the Ivorian legend then converting the spot kick that secured Europe’s biggest prize.
What made the achievement by Chelsea even more remarkable was the fact that they had to play the final against Bayern without a number of key players.
Roberto di Matteo’s side were without the likes of John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Raul Meireles and Ramires due to suspension.
It meant a number of squad players had to step up in their absence and one man who certainly did just that was John Obi Mikel.
The Nigerian was an absolute beast at the base of Chelsea‘s midfield that night in Munich, thwarting Bayern’s attack with his defensive nous while also operating as a deep-lying playmaker.
On Monday evening, UEFA posted a video of Mikel’s highlights from the game on their official Champions League Twitter account and the footage quickly went viral.
Check out Mikel’s masterclass for yourself below.
Mikel vs Bayern
What. A. Performance.
Given the circumstances, Mikel’s near-perfect display in Munich might just be one of the greatest ever seen in a 21st century Champions League final.
The Nigerian’s tackles were well-timed and authoritative, while his accurate long-range passes to Drogba helped Chelsea get up the pitch and put pressure on Bayern’s back-line.
After footage of Mikel’s flawless performance done the rounds on Twitter, Drogba himself posted a reaction on the social media platform, referring to his former teammate simply as “playmaker”.
Well said, Didier.
Mikel is well-known for his ability to play as a midfield anchorman, but he’s still not given the respect he deserves for his unquestionable quality on the ball.
The fact he often used to play in a more advanced role on international duty with Nigeria tells you everything you need to know about the underrated 34-year-old.
(Credit: The Football Terrace)