Former Chelsea player Jon Obi Mikel has announced his retirement from football, penning an emotional farewell message.
Beginning his career at Norwegian side Lyn back in 2004, Mikel was brought to Chelsea just two years later after an impressive display at the youth World Cup, finishing runner up to Lionel Messi in the Golden Ball award.
The Nigerian had all but signed for Manchester United, pictured in their strip with Sir Alex Ferguson before a remarkable u-turn saw him move to Stamford Bridge.
His time at Chelsea saw him become a fan favourite, staying for 11 years as he scored a total of six goals and registered 13 assists in 372 appearances.
The defensive midfielder was key at the base of Jose Mourinho's side, a calm passer who absorbed pressure during his time at the club.
During his time at Stamford Bridge, Mikel lifted the Premier League twice, won three FA Cups, a League Cup and the Europa League in 2013.
However, the most memorable trophy in his career will no doubt be the Champions League, putting in a Man of the Match performance in the 2012 final.
Now, he has decided to hang up his boots after a remarkable playing career.
Mikel took to Instagram to pen a message followign the annoucnement.
He wrote: "There is a saying that 'all good things must come to an end', and for my professional football career, that day is today.
"I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.
"All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates and most importantly my ever-loyal fans.
"You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.
"I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career to never give up on their dreams, for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.
"This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you."
The Nigerian will be remembered fondly among Chelsea fans, with it unclear as to what he plans to do after retirement.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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