John Obi Mikel explains kidnapping rumours before Chelsea move

John Obi Mikel has opened up about the rumours that he was kidnapped before moving to Chelsea from Norwegian club Lyn Oslo in 2006.

The 35-year-old, who retired from football last week, was a subject of a bitter dispute between Manchester United and the Blues in 2005, before signing for the latter the following year.

The former international had signed a pre-contract with the Red Devils side when Chelsea came knocking.

Just before he completed his transfer to Stamford Bridge, rumours emerged that he has been kidnapped.

Speaking to BBC Africa, Mikel explained what led to the rumors.

“I signed a pre-contract for Manchester United when I was 17. If you are a kid and you see Sir Alex Ferguson right in front of you with the contract, of course you will be tempted.”

He added: “I acted as a young kid and as soon as Chelsea heard the news, they came and got me out of Norway.

“That’s when people started saying that I was kidnapped. It wasn’t a great moment for me then. I just wanted to play football because I was so young.”

After moving to London, Mikel became one of the club’s most decorated players, winning the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier Leagues, two League Cups and four FA Cups in an 11-year spell which ended when he left Stamford Bridge in 2017.

“I don’t regret any decision I made because I enjoyed everything I achieved at Chelsea – it’s the best decision I have ever made in my life,” the player added.

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