Mikel reveals he walked out of a meeting with Conte because of this issue.
Mikel captained Nigeria’s U23 side that won the Bronze medal of the Olympics’ football event.
“This guy who has just walked in the door for five minutes is telling me I had to choose. He was saying, ‘If you do that, you won’t be a part of this team’,” Mikel told The Athletic.
“I spoke to the club and told them that I wanted to go. The club respected me because of what I had done for them and how long I’d been there.
“So off I went, and I felt punished for that. I came back, and I didn’t make the squad. I was never in the squad list on matchdays again.”
After his maltreatment, Mikel said the Italian manager called a meeting with him in an attempt to reinstate him back to the team but he walked out on him and left for China shortly after.
“The funny thing is, just before the January window was going to start, he came up to me and said ‘I want a meeting with you’, Mikel further said.
“This was after making me train on my own for months, treating a player who had been at Chelsea for a long time like this!
“When he tried to meet with me he was like, ‘Let’s try and make up, I will need you in the team, let’s squash this, blah, blah, blah!’.
“I was like, ‘Are you joking?! Are you f****** serious?!’ He knew I wanted out. I stood up and walked out of the room. You can’t disrespect a human being like that.”
John Obi Mikel won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012
The reports have always been there, although Mikel first chose to ignore it. Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr first revealed it in 2016 when he said, “there is a reason why Mikel is not playing for Chelsea right now and that reason is that he played for Nigeria at the Olympics.”
Mikel, who was still at Chelsea at that time, quickly released a statement to deny Rohr’s comment.
At a Super Eagles press conference around after Sarki’s comment, Mikel refused to confirm or deny Sarki’s allegation.
In June 2019, Mikel finally admitted that he was untreated unfairly because of the Olympics.
“I went, I came back, the managers never spoke to me again, didn’t put me in the team, then I said ‘okay fine’ and I left,” Mikel said in a Youtube interview on the Super Eagles.
Mikel currently plays for English Championship side Stoke City.
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