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Rio 2016: 5 over-aged players to look out for

Neelabhra Roy
SENIOR ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
03 Aug 2016, 14:55 IST

#4 John Obi Mikel, Nigeria

A lot of Nigeria’s hopes at Rio will be shouldered by Mikel

Rio 2016 will be the sixth appearance for Nigeria at the Olympics. The Nigerian football team has fared better at the Olympics compared to the World Cup as they won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and also clinched the silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Games.

Nigeria is possibly Africa’s best opportunity to put up a good showing at the Olympics and a lot of the nation’s expectations will rest on the shoulders of their current senior team captain John Obi Mikel.

The Chelsea midfielder has been one of the best African footballers of recent times, through his work rate and his ability to quickly switch from midfield to defence, something which he has done quite a few times at Chelsea.

Nigeria’s group in the Olympics comprises of London Olympics’ fourth place finisher Japan alongside Sweden and Colombia. Nigeria could face some difficulty in advancing from their group but if anyone is capable of helping them to the quarter-finals, it has to be Mikel and if he can orchestrate the midfield with full authority, then Nigeria might cause an upset or two.

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