Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, has showered praises on former Super Eagles captain, Mikel Obi.
Ndidi revealed that he grew up idolising the former Chelsea star and confessed that he was nervous when he met him for the first time in Belgium.
The former Nath Boys midfielder earned his first Super Eagles call-up in October 2015 after his impressive performances for Genk in the Belgian league.
He was handed a late call-up after some home-based players were unable to get their visas for the friendly match against the Democratic Republic of Congo, and this allowed him to meet his longtime hero.
Ndidi’s admiration for Mikel was so strong that he always requested for his number 12 jersey number while he was playing for his amateur club Nath Boys in Lagos.
Ndidi, who was recently named as Leicester City’s most valuable player by Sky Sports for the 2019/2020 season said in an Instagram question and answer session with former Super Eagles Media Officer, Colin Udoh.
“When I was in Nath Boys if they want to share jerseys before they put names I want to take the number 12. As a central defender, I want to take the number 12 because Mikel wears the number 12.
“When I saw him first time in Belgium I was nervous, I couldn’t take photographs with him, I was scared. Even in training, I couldn’t get close to him and tackle him.
“Mikel is a legend, we don’t appreciate him, but he’s a big name and legend. First time I couldn’t talk to him personally except there is a conversation going on and I join, I couldn’t talk to him one on one.”
Ndidi played alongside Mikel in the Super Eagles before the former Trabzonspor midfielder retired from international football after the 2019 African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
“It’s a dream come true seeing Mikel, playing on the same pitch with him and my first (second) game for the Super Eagles I came in for Mikel, it was a plus for me, I am still happy till today.
“Thank God for the way everything is going and how far I have gone, the step I have taken, meeting these people, the encouragement, the experience they have, it’s really good for me.”
“When I was growing up, I used to support Chelsea”.