2022 Updated: John Mikel Obi’s Net Worth, Football Career, & Other Facts

The Nigerian-based professional footballer, John Micheal Nchekwube Obinna, famously recognized as John Obi Mikel, is a defensive midfielder who has played for several clubs in Europe. Mikel’s record of achievements as a soccer player has made him a sought-after personality today and added some figures to his bank account. Read on and find more information about John Obi Mikel’s net worth, including details about his current team height and more.

mikel obi net worth

Mikel’s Clubs Career

Statistics have it that John Obi Mikel started his football career at the age of 12 when picked as a talented footballer from over 3,000 young talents to play in Pepsi Football Academy, a team that at the time was well known for traveling across Nigeria scouting young footballers with the potential to play professionally.

As a matter of fact, he stood out to scouts and was later picked to play for top-flight club Plateau United, a side that had previously developed stars Celestine Babayaro, Victor Obinna, and Chris Obodo, among others, that went on to success in European leagues. John Obi Mikel made headlines for his country at the FIFA Under-17 World Championships held in Finland. After his tremendous performance in the tournament, he went on to a trial at South African club Ajax Cape Town, ultimately joining Oslo-based club Lyn Fotball in Norway.

Mikel’s Journey to England

A few days after the young talent turned 18, on the 29th of April 2005, the English Premier League club Manchester United announced that they had struck a deal with Lyn to sign the player. It was official that even Manchester United’s website also claimed that they had done a deal directly with the teenager and that he had signed a contract to join them. However, John Obi Mikel’s agents were bypassed as the club persuaded the youngster to sign a four-year contract without representation. Again, it will be good to point out that Lyn allegedly sent a fax to his agents abroad, claiming their services were no longer required by Mikel. Then, various reports said the deal was initially worth £4 million and would see the player arrive at Old Trafford in January 2006.

It was made clear that Manchester United’s rival Premier League club, Chelsea, later issued a counter-claim suggesting that they already had an agreement with Mikel and his agents, but Lyn denied this claim. Proving with the subsequent reports, and indicated that Chelsea claimed to have been involved in arranging the player’s original move to Europe with a view to signing him at a later date. The further substance was added to this claim after it was revealed that the player had impressed Chelsea manager José Mourinho while training with the club’s first-team squad during the summer of 2004.

Again, Chelsea, Manchester United, and Lyn reached a settlement to resolve the future of the player on the 2nd of June 2006. John Obi Mikel’s registration was to be transferred from Lyn to Chelsea; Manchester United agreed to terminate their option agreement with Mikel. So it was claimed that under the terms of this agreement, the West London giant agreed to pay United £12 million, half paid upon the finalization of the contract and the other half in June 2007, and Lyn £4 million, half payable immediately and half in June 2007. As a result of this settlement, all claims in this matter were withdrawn. Chelsea was granted a work permit by FIFA for Mikel on the 19th of July, after they completed the £16 million signing in June 2006.


It has been recorded that Obi Mikel made his first start for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League against Bulgarian club Levski Sofia on the 12 of September 2006, and took a powerful shot which the goalkeeper failed to save and Didier Drogba pounced on the rebound. The Nigerian international Midfielder Mikel received many positive comments for his performance in the match. After he was sent off in a match against Reading on 14 October 2006, Mikel was fined on three separate occasions by Chelsea for turning up late to training.

However, it was announced on the 4th of November 2016, that the club would not be renewing its contract when it expired at the end of the season.

Tianjin TEDA

Chinese Super League club Tianjin TEDA on the 6th of January 2017, signed Mikel on a free transfer. On the 14 April 2018, he scored his second league goal for Tianjin, and the first goal of the season against Guangzhou R&F. Nevertheless, he left Tianjin TEDA at the end of the 2018 Chinese Super League season in November 2018.


The Nigerian international, Obi Mikel joined English Championship team Middlesbrough on a short-term deal in the 2019 winter transfer window. As a matter of fact, he was a free agent after leaving the Chinese side of Tianjin TEDA. As per statistics, Obi Mikel made 19 appearances for Boro, scoring once against Rotherham United on 5 May 2019 as the team narrowly missed out on a play-off spot finishing seventh. However, Obi was released by Middlesbrough at the end of the 2018–19 season.


John Micheal Nchekwube Obinna later joined Trabzonspor on a two-year contract with the option of a further year, in the summer of 2019.

Again, it was however announced on 17 March 2020, that Mikel had left Trabzonspor by mutual consent, days after expressing his concerns about the Turkish Super Lig continuing amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

Stoke City

The Nigerian-born midfielder later signed a one-year contract with EFL Championship side Stoke City on 17 August 2020. As per BBC claimed, he made his Stoke debut on 13 September 2020 in a 0–0 draw away at Millwall. Under the management of Michael O’Neill, Mikel Obi was a key member of the team in 2020–21, making 41 appearances as Stoke finished in a mid-table position of 14th. At the end of the season, O’Neill stated that he wants Mikel to stay at Stoke for another year.

Kuwait SC

But it was made clear that on the 1st of July 2021, Mikel canceled his contract agreement with Stoke and moved to Kuwait SC.

The contract with Kuwait SC was terminated after four months of joining the team on the 4th of November 2021, where he played only five matches

Mikel’s International Career

John Micheal Nchekwube Obinna represented the Nigeria under-20 team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship and won the Silver Ball for the second-best player at the tournament (behind Lionel Messi) as the Africans finished runner-up to Argentina.

Obi Mikel however made his debut for the Nigeria senior team on 17 August 2005, when he came on as a second-half substitute in a 1–0 friendly win over Libya. The former Chelsea man did not play for the national team again prior to being named in the squad for the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations. In Nigeria’s first group game, against Ghana, Mikel was an unused substitute.

In Russia’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Algeria, Mikel scored a goal and assisted his then Chelsea teammate Victor Moses in a 3–1 victory.

Finally, in the month of July 2019, the Nigerian legendary midfielder said that the 2019 African Cup of Nations would be his last tournament for Nigeria. It was made official that he retired at the end of the competition, in which Nigeria came third.

Mikel Obi net worth

The former Nigerian international, John Mikel Obi’s net worth is $50 million making him one of the richest footballers in Africa. The 35-year-old has been one of Nigeria’s top footballers even though his achievements can’t be compared with those like of Jay-Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, etc.



Premier League: 2009–10, 2014–15

FA Cup: 2006–07, 2008–09, 2011–12

Football League Cup: 2006–07

FA Community Shield: 2009

UEFA Champions League: 2011–12

UEFA Europa League: 2012–13


Turkish Cup: 2019–20


Africa Cup of Nations: 2013; third place: 2006, 2010, 2019

Nigeria Olympic

Summer Olympics bronze medalist: 2016


FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball: 2005

CAF Most Promising Talent of the Year: 2005

Chelsea Young Player of the Year: 2007, 2008

CAF Team of the Year: 2005, 2013

Africa Cup of Nations Team of the Tournament: 2013

African Footballer of the Year runner-up: 2013

Other Facts

Full name: John Michael Nchekwube Obinna

Nickname: Mikel

Gender: Male

Date of birth: 22 April 1987

Age: 35 years old as of April 2022

Zodiac sign: Taurus

Place of birth: Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Current residence: Lagos,

Nigeria Nationality: Nigerian

Ethnicity: Igbo

Religion: Christianity

John Obi Mikel’s height in feet: 6’2″

Height in centimetres: 188

Hair colour: Black

Eye colour: Dark brown

Father: Michael Obinna

Marital status: Married

Wife: Olga Dyachenko

Children: 2

Profession: Professional football player

John Obi Mikel’s current club: Kuwait SC

Net worth: Estimated to be $50 million

Current market value: $652,560

John Obi Mikel’s Instagram: @mikel_john_obi

Twitter: @mikel_john_obi

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