Mikel Obi has been listed in the Super Eagles 18-man Olympic squad.
The 29-year-old midfielder is one of the squad’s permitted quota for over-aged players.
Recall that Nigerian soccer stars like Watford’s Odion Ighalo, Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi and Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho will not feature at the Olympics because their respective clubs have not permitted them to do so.
Another fortunate release on the Nigerian list is that of goalkeeper Daniel Akpeyi. He also made it to the list as a permitted over-aged player.
Given the release by Chelsea, Mikel Obi will miss the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. His Instagram account says he will be joining the Nigerian national team in Atlanta.
“First part of the pre-season done; off to Atlanta to join the Nigerian team for the 2016 Olympics.”
Mikel Obi on Thursday scored his first pre-season goal in Chelsea’s 8-0 win over Austrian local side Atus Ferlach.
This appears to be Mikel Obi’s Olympic appearance in a while, as he missed the past 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The 2016 men’s tournament in the 2016 Olympics will start on the 3rd of August. Nigeria has been drawn in Group B of the Rio Games together with Sweden, Colombia and Japan.
Nigerian Olympic squad:
-Daniel Akpeyi (Chippa FC, South Africa)
-Emmanuel Daniel (Enugu Rangers)
-Kingsley Madu (AS Trencin, Slovakia)
-William Troost-Ekong (Haugesund FC, Norway)
-Ndifreke Udo (Abia Warriors)
-Saturday Erimuya (Kayseri Erciyespor, Turkey)
-Abdullahi Shehu (CF Uniao, Portugal)
-Muenfuh Sincere (Rhapsody FC)
-Stanley Amuzie (Olhanense FC, Portugal)
-John Mikel Obi (Chelsea, England)
-Okechukwu Azubuike (Yeni Malatyaspor, Turkey)
-Usman Muhammed (CF Uniao, Portugal)
-Oghenekaro Etebo (CD Feirense FC, Portugal)
-Sodiq Saliu (Seraing FC, Belgium)
-Aminu Umar (Osmalispor, Turkey)
-Imoh Ezekiel (Al Arabi, Qatar)
-Sadiq Umar (AS Roma, Italy)
-Junior Ajayi (CS Sfaxien, Tunisia)