Captain of the Super Eagles, John Obi Mikel, has insisted that his absence did not lead to Nigeria’s 2-0 defeat to South Africa, in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier last Saturday.
The Tianjin TEDA midfielder missed the game, after undergoing surgery to fix a long standing groin issue.
Mikel Obi, who is in the final phase of his rehabilitation in Qatar, told Own goal Nigeria that “in football you mustn’t win all the time.”
“Saying my absence cost the team is an insult to the talented players we have in the team. It could have happened even if I played, you never can tell. The players had a bad day and we will definitely bounce back with or without me.
“In football you mustn’t win all the time. We have a young squad who are very talented and the lesson learnt from the loss will make them better equipped for our remaining games in the World Cup and AFCON qualifiers,” he said.