MIKEL STEPPING AWAY FROM RIVERSIDE WITH HEAD HIGH

Super Eagles leader, John Mikel Obi made what is expected to be his final bow for English side Middlesbrough on Sunday in a lunch-time 1-2 victory over Rotherham inside the New York Stadium.
The former Chelsea destroyer came into the Tony Pulis led Boro in January on free transfer to a short-term contract after some spell with Chinese club Tiajin Teda.
Mikel 32, came into a swag-less Middlesbrough team, gave them life, boosted the morale of his new teammates even though the club had to pay his handy wages through their nose.

At a point, they lost six on the trot and it forced the gaffer whose job was under serious threat to hand the captainship to the 'African Zidane'.
Mikel assumed leadership role and the decision gave a ray of hope as Boro resurge and won three consecutive matches to throw themselves in contention for a Sky Bet Championship playoff place.

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Despite scoring a crucial second for his team on the league final day, the Boro number ''2'' will be remembered for his professionalism and his champion character.
IN BRILLIANT SHAPE FOR AFCON

It has been said time without number that the championship is arguably the most physical demanding league in the World with 24teams battling for three promotion spots.

For 'Odogwu' to endure and remain fit over the cause of five busy months shows that he is in his best physical and medical shape since his Stamford Bridge days and therefore; more than ready to lead the Super Eagles to glory for what is expected to be the most intense and competitive Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Egypt.

By Olamide Oyetunji

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