Super Eagles Captain, and Middlesbrough midfielder, John Obi Mikel says he feared he was going to lose his father after he was kidnapped for the second time by gunmen in 2018, just before the Super Eagles’ last group game against Argentina at the World Cup in Russia, but believes the incident has made him stronger.
Reflecting on the ordeal, “They said they would shoot him and in the back of my head during the game I thought that after the match I would probably find out they had decided to shoot him.
“It’s life. It’s made me stronger as a person. I can look at so many things and say ‘this is not going to shake me because I’ve been through worse. I just hope that it never happens again and my dad can enjoy the rest of his life in peace.”
Although aware of the kidnapping before the Super Eagles game against the South Americans, the midfielder did not tell anyone as he wanted the team to focus on the game at hand.
“I didn’t say anything to anyone in the national team because I was the captain and I had to lead. It was my responsibility to lead the team and I wasn’t going to say I couldn’t play or have them thinking about my dad rather than the football.”
After launching a search for Pa Obi, police were able to rescue him along with his driver unhurt with some of the culprits reportedly arrested.