John Mikel Obi and Mercy Akide had fantastic careers representing Nigeria during their active days, with the former notable achievement being the Africa Cup of Nations trophy in 2013, while Akide also helped the Super Falcons to three Women’s Africa championships titles.
Nigerian duo of former Internationals, John Mikel Obi and Mercy Akide have been selected among the panel of experts for the 2023 Best FIFA Football Awards, Soccernet.ng reports.
Mikel, a former Super Eagles captain until he announced his retirement from international football in 2019, is one of the finest players to have emerged from the camp of the three-time African champions, having also helped his country claim silver at the 2005 U-20 World Cup, before leading the U-23 team to a laudable Bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The 36-year-old also had a fantastic career at the club level, representing the likes of Lyn Oslo, Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Tianjin TEDA, Trabzonspor, Stoke City, and Kuwait SC, winning many trophies before announcing his retirement from professional football in September last year.
And Akide who was once a prolific midfielder with the Super Falcons also had a laudable career with the West African Country, helping the female senior national team to three Women’s African Championships titles in 1998, 2000, and 2002.
However, Mikel and Akide are among the panel of experts who were shortlisted to determine the winners for the various categories of the 2023 FIFA Football Best Award.
Mikel is among the 11 shortlisted experts for the men’s category, while his compatriot, Akide is among the 11 experts for the women’s category.
Recall that Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen was among the 13 players nominated for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award after his 26 goals helped Napoli to a rare Serie A title win last term.
Lionel Messi and Alexia Putellas are the current holders of the Men’s Player Award and the Women’s Player Award respectively, having beaten other nominees to the 2022 edition.
Check the full list of the panel of experts and the nominees for every category of the Awards on FIFA.com