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Mikel Obi says will lead Nigeria at Africa Cup of Nations

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Nigeria’s midfielder John Mikel Obi reacts during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Nigeria and Argentina at the Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg on June 26, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS

John Obi Mikel has confirmed he is available to return to Nigeria’s Super Eagles for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, according to a team official.

The former Chelsea star last played for Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia and was not involved in the qualifying for this year’s Nations Cup.

“Mikel has met with coach (Gernot) Rohr in England and he has confirmed he will feature at the Nations Cup in Egypt,” said a top team official.

The 32-year-old Obi, now with English Championship side Middlesborough, has won 85 caps and scored six goals since his full international debut in 2005 against Libya.

Experts said his experience and leadership would be invaluable to a squad that includes many players making their debut in this competition after Nigeria missed out on the last two editions.

The tournament in Egypt is widely seen as the last hurrah for the player in international football.


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