Super Eagles and Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi has named his ultimate Chelsea XI. Paulo Ferriera is surprisingly included.
Speaking with Goal.com’s Lolade Adewuyi, Mikel named some of his past and present teammates with some surprising inclusions.
The midfielder choses a 4-2-3-1 formation which is currently being employed by coach Jose Mourinho in his present Chelsea side after using a 4-3-3 during his first spell in charge.
Petr Cech: An obvious choice given that Mikel and Cech were teammates for nine years. Gets the nod ahead of the likes of Begovic, Cudicini, Mark Schwarzer, Thibaut Courtois.
Paulo Ferreira: A surprising choice given that Ferreira was not always first choice in Chelsea. Had to compete with Bosingwa, Boularouhz, Ivanovic fora starting berth.
Ricardo Carvalho: One of the worlds best defenders during his Porto, Chelsea and early Real Madrid career. Now at Monaco winding down his career.
John Terry: Carvalho’s partner in crime during their six years together. The captain, leader, legend is still one of the world’s best despite his advancing years.
Ashley Cole: Was probably the best in the world alongside Eric Abidal, Patrice Evra during his heydays. Presently a free agent after his AS Roma contract expired.
Micheal Essien: The Bison was a formidable player in his glory years between 2005 and 20011. But for a knee injury that kept him out ofthe game for so long, Essien could have achieved more. Chosen ahead of players like Matic, Micheal Ballack, Deco.
Frank Lampard: Another obvious choice given his importance to Chelsea between 2001 and 2014. One of the best players in the world during his glory days. In 2006, he finished as runner-up to Ronaldinho for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards
Willian: Despite joining Chelsea in 2003, Willian has made a huge impression on Mikel Obi. Known for his hard running and freekick abilities, Willian has been Chelsea’s best player this season.
Joe Cole: But for the injuries, Joe Cole would be more recognised. Was at Chelsea between 2003 and 2010. Who would forget his goal against Manchester United in 2005 that handed the Blues a Premier League title. Beat off competition from Arjen Robben, Damien Duff, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Salomon Kalou.
Eden Hazard: Hazard is a great talent and could do better than starting the season in such poor form. Last season’s player of the year has been at Chelsea since 2012 and has won the Capital one cup, Europa League and Premier League.
Didier Drogba: The most obvious choice for the lone striker spot. Voted Chelsea’s greatest player in 2012.