Super Eagles captain John Mikel Obi has revealed why he opted for Chelsea ahead of Manchester United when he moved to England.
The then Lynn Oslo attacking midfielder was caught up in a transfer tussle between two English giants namely Manchester United and Chelsea.
Mikel had signed for Manchester United before claiming that he was forced to sign for the Red Devils.
He thereafter moved to Chelsea with the Stamford Bridge outfit paying a huge compensation to their rivals.
While speaking with the Players Tribune, Mikel spoke about his controversial transfer to Chelsea.
In his words, he said: “So before I tell you my story, let’s just get that bit out of the way first. It’s been more than a decade and I still get asked this one thing about my time in England.”
“‘Hey, what happened to you signing for Manchester United? How come you swapped for Chelsea at the last minute?’ Every time.
“I’ll tell you what happened. I had all these people on both sides fighting over me. Agents, managers, strangers, guys handing me papers. 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?
“After a while, someone from FIFA gave me a phone call. They said, ‘Listen, we know you’re young and you have these two clubs fighting over you. We can’t decide for you. You can only go where you want. You have to tell us.’
“I thought about it for a long time. It was the biggest decision of my life.
“You know what made my mind up? 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.
“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.” He concluded.
The Tianjin Teda midfielder went on to enjoy an hugely successful 11 years at Chelsea.
He won one Champions League title, one Europa League title, two English Premier League titles, three FA Cup titles, one League Cup title and a Community Shield title before leaving for his current club in 2017.