- Mikel says that the manager tried to patch things later but he walked out because of the initial disrespect.
- John Obi Mikel has said Antonio Conte asked him to choose between captaining Nigeria and playing for Chelsea.
“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.
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“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’.
“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 chose to captain Nigeria to a Olympic Bronze medal in 2016, which led to the cold shoulder from them manager Antonio Conte.
Mikel spent 11 years with the Blues and is currently playing his trade with Stoke City on a 1-year contract.
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