Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel will now be captain of the Nigerian national team, following an announcement from former Super Eagles skipper Ahmed Musa, who is relinquishing the position of leadership to the more experienced veteran.
The news comes on the eve of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Egypt, which is set to take place in Kaduna. The second leg will then be played in Egypt, with an aggregate score deciding which team progresses to the next phase of qualifying.
Musa has been skipper for the Super Eagles in recent matches, leading the West African nation into battle on the soccer pitch.
The CSKA Moscow player was chosen to replace Vincent Enyeama when the goalkeeper retired from the Super Eagles fold, with then coach Sunday Oliseh opting for the younger member of the squad over the more experienced Mikel.
This has now changed, however, as Musa himself announced to the assembled media.
“I want to announce now that from today, John Obi Mikel is our new captain,” Musa told the press at a press conference, ahead of Friday’s qualifier.
With coach Samson Siasia and Mikel to his side, Musa explained that the Chelsea player was the obvious man for the job, and would take over with immediate effect.
Mikel began his Super Eagles career in 2005, with the 28-year-old earning over 60 caps for the Nigeria national team since his first matches representing the West Africans.
The Nigeria captain was recently at the centre of transfer rumours concerning the potential for a move from Chelsea to a Chinese club.
The Super Eagles stalwart decided to halt contract renegotiations at his London club, which he has represented since 2006, while he considers the options that are on the table from a few Chinese Super League sides who are keen to get his signature.