Mikel Obi surprassed Kanu Nwankwo in the number of international caps with the Super Eagles, climbing to third in the list after playing one game more than Nwankwo.
The pivotal match which happened on Saturday was Mikel’s 87th for Nigeria was the
friendly against Zimbabwe at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba where Mikel played as defensive midfielder
In a press conference after the match, the former Chelsea star tipped Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze and Bordeaux’s Samuel Kalu to have a successful Africa Cup of Nations experience.
He, however, admitted that they are not yet the finished product.
“ The coach has invited the players that will do the job for us. It is a very good blend of young and experience. Like the coach said, we needed a little bit of experience – Shehu and Ighalo were not on the pitch,” he said
‘I think it is also good for the young players to play this game, you know Chukwueze, Kalu, you could see a bit of flashes of talent. They are very good players. I think we will work on when to run with the ball, when not to run, when to pass, but you could see the talent is there for them. I think they can do great things in this Nations Cup.”
“We just have to keep talking to them, we the senior players, the coaches and hopefully we will have a very good plan in the Nations Cup and do great things.”
This will be Mikel’s fifth Nations Cup and he will be one of only three players on the final squad to Egypt who have previously played at the tournament proper. The others are Kenneth Omeruo and Ahmed Musa, who made their Africa Cup debuts six years ago in South Africa, when Nigeria won a third continental crown