Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has disagreed with fellow legend and ex-international Daniel Amokachi’s declaration of John Obi Mikel as Nigeria’s greatest ever player.
Amokachi’s assertion generated a lot of debate with many Nigerians and ex-internationals also weighing in with their opinions.
However, Aiyegbeni who was speaking on Sports Zone on Lagos Talks from his England base said Mikel is not even the greatest defensive midfielder Nigeria has produced giving the honour to former Super Eagles captain Sunday Oliseh.
The Yak as Aiyegbeni was known during his playing days conceded that while Mikel’s superior trophy cabinet might lend credence to the “greatest-ever” tag, Oliseh was much the superior player.
Mikel is Nigeria’s most decorated player having won two league titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and a Europa League title in a trophy-laden decade at Chelsea.
He also won the 2013 AFCON with the national team in addition to an Olympics bronze medal and a silver medal from the U20 FIFA World Cup and represented Nigeria at two World Cups.
Oliseh, meanwhile, was part of the squad that won the 1994 AFCON and thrilled the world in Nigeria’s first-ever appearance in a World Cup at the USA 94 Mundial.
He also played a pivotal role as Nigeria became the first African country to win gold at the Olympics in 1996. At club level, he won one league title in Holland and Germany as well as the Dutch Cup.
“[Mikel] is the greatest because of the trophies he has won. Don’t get me wrong, Mikel is a very, very good player [but] there’s no way you can compare Mikel with Sunday Oliseh. No chance, no chance,” said Aiyegbeni who retired in 2015 as Nigeria’s third-highest goalscorer with 21 goals in 57 caps.
“Mikel did so well in his career in Chelsea, he won a lot of trophies [but] there is nowhere in the world you can compare Mikel and Sunday Oliseh.
“Oliseh is a better player than Mikel. Mikel won a lot of trophies but Oliseh was unbelievable,” the former Portsmouth and Everton striker added.