John Michael Nchekwube Obinna, commonly known as John Obi Mikel, is a Nigerian footballer who plays as a midfielder for English club Chelsea and the Nigeria national team. He started his official football career at the age of 12 when he was picked from over 3000 young talents playing in the Pepsi Football Academy. He has come a long way since then.
Obi has always stood out, owing to his impressive style and technique. He got picked to play in the top-flight team Plateau United, and made headlines for his country at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland. In the summer of 2005, Mikel played for Nigeria at the FIFA World Youth Championships held in the Netherlands; he won the Silver Ball after being voted the tournament's second best player. On 29 April 2005, Mikel joined Premier League club Manchester United. The transfer, however, was speculated to have certain scandals associated with it.
On 2 June 2006, Mikel's registration was to be transferred from Lyn to Chelsea. On 12 September 2006, Mikel made his first start for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League against Levski Sofia. In May 2010, he received Premier League and FA Cup winner's medals as part of Chelsea's first ever league-cup double winning team. In November 2012, Mikel was named on the shortlist for the African Footballer of the Year along with former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba.