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[7] How John Obi Mikel went from training with a proper club to signing for Chelski ... in his own words

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  • [7] How John Obi Mikel went from training with a proper club to signing for Chelski ... in his own words

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    How John Obi Mikel went from training with a proper club to signing for Chelski

    “I trained with the first team,”

    “Roy Keane was my bodyguard.

    “Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt always tried to kick me but couldn’t when Roy was there because he’d have killed them.

    “Sir Alex called me Obi-Wan (after the Star Wars character Obi-Wan Kenobi).

    “He called me into his office one day and said, ‘Obi-Wan, do you know what Keane, Scholes and all the senior players have told me? They said you have to sign that boy.’

    “I couldn’t believe it. Here was I, a schoolkid from Africa, training with some of the best in the world.”

    And then came a meeting with Chelsea, where it all changed

    "Roman Abramovich organised six cars to get me there. It was like a military operation. I started in one car, then the drivers would talk to each other and suddenly I was dropped off and then picked up by another car.

    "Once there, Jose told me: "The boss really wants you. I'll play you and make you what you want to be". That really helped as there were times when I thought: "Have I made the right decision?",'

    “It was surreal,”

    “I was at school, but had Chelsea and Manchester United — two of the world’s biggest clubs — trying to sign me. I’ll never forget that second meeting with Sir Alex. I’d signed a deal at United but had to tell him, ‘Sorry, I want to play for Chelsea.’

    “He really liked me but I could see how angry and disappointed he was.

    “Some things he told me made me think about changing my mind but I was thinking about Jose (Mourinho), too.

    “I had these two great managers wanting me and I did not know what to do.

    “Fergie told me, ‘Why would you turn down United? It’s the biggest club in the world. You cannot do that. You have to say yes.’

    “As a footballer, you have to make decisions that you live with for the rest of your life.”
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