Former Super Eagles striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has weighed into the debate of who is the Nigeria’s greatest ever player, the SportsBay.com reports.
Speaking on Sports Zone on Lagos Talks from his England base, Aiyegbeni said Mikel is not even the greatest defensive midfielder Nigeria has produced giving the honour to former Super Eagles captain Sunday Oliseh.
Aiyegbeni conceded that while Mikel’s superior trophy cabinet might lend credence to the “greatest-ever” tag, Oliseh was much the superior player.
Mikel is Nigeria’s most decorated player having won two league titles, 4 FA Cups, 2 League Cups, the UEFA Champions League and a Europa League title in a trophy-laden decade at Chelsea.
He also won the 2013 AFCON with the national team in addition to an Olympics bronze medal and a silver medal from the U20 FIFA World Cup and represented Nigeria at two World Cups.
John Obi Mikel earned 87 caps and is Nigeria’s most decorated player
Oliseh, meanwhile, was part of the squad that won the 1994 AFCON and thrilled the world in Nigeria’s first-ever appearance in a World Cup at the USA 94 Mundial.
He also played a pivotal role as Nigeria became the first African country to win gold at the Olympics in 1996. At club level, he won one league title in Holland and Germany as well as the Dutch Cup.
Sunday Oliseh won the 1994 Nations Cup and was capped 63 times
“[Mikel] is the greatest because of the trophies he has won. Don’t get me wrong, Mikel is a very, very good player [but] there’s no way you can compare Mikel with Sunday Oliseh. No chance, no chance,” said Aiyegbeni who retired in 2015 as Nigeria’s third-highest goalscorer with 21 goals in 57 caps.
“Oliseh is a better player than Mikel. Mikel won a lot of trophies but Oliseh was unbelievable,” the former Portsmouth and Everton striker added.