Nigeria Olympic team coach Samson Siasia has singled out Chelsea star Mikel Obi for special praise as the team get set for a Rio Olympics semi-final against Germany.
Mikel has shone in Brazil that Siasia said the Chelsea star reminds him of when he inspired the Flying Eagles to reach the final of the 2005 FIFA U20 World Cup in Holland with the midfielder playing a more offensive role that earned him the tournament second best player after Lionel Messi.
The coach was full of appreciation to the entire team after the comfortable 2-0 victory over Denmark in the quarterfinals of the Rio Olympics, but reserved special praise for his captain.
“Coach Siasia has publicly praised the contribution of the team captain Mikel Obi to the success of the team so far,” a top team source informed AfricanFootball.com
“He had a one-on-one with Mikel and thanked him for being there for the team and also his full support for him that has kept him and his team going.”
Siasia said the way Mikel is playing now reminded him of the 2005 Flying Eagles who played in the final of the U20 World Cup in Holland.
He said Mikel has led by example on and off the pitch.
He said a very good example was the Chelsea star’s opening goal against Denmark before he was also involved in the second goal that ousted the Danes from the Olympics in Brazil.
“He said with the leadership role Mikel is playing right now he is very confident that his team would beat Germany in the semi-finals to qualify for the Gold medal match,” added the source.