Mikel, who plays in the Chinese Super League, had visited Tinubu to seek his support for Africa’s Next Football Superstar, a talent hunt programme initiated by the Mikel Obi Foundation.
But the ex-Chelsea midfielder, who won two EPL titles, three FA Cups, one Football League Cup as well as the UEFA Champions League and Europa League in 11 years at Stamford Bridge, was perhaps astonished when Tinubu displayed his huge knowledge of the game.
“I’m very proud and honoured to receive you (Mikel). I’m a great fan of football even though not much of a fan of your former club (Chelsea). I sincerely tried to watch Chelsea all the time you were there because you are a great talent,” Tinubu stated while receiving Mikel.
Tinubu revealed that he is a staunch follower of English Premier League giants Manchester United.
“Chelsea is not my club but he (Mikel) is my club and we will support his project. I’m a Man United fan to the core,” the former Governor of Lagos State said.
“Last weekend, I watched the Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea game with one eye because I’m always envious of Chelsea. I always wish we (Manchester United) beat them. I sympathise with him (Mikel), his former club had to take a hit from Tottenham.
“When Mikel was there however, I watched Chelsea each time he was on the pitch with both eyes because he’s a great talent. It’s been a wonderful homecoming for him and we will do everything to support him.”
Though he may not support Chelsea, Tinubu admitted his love for Mikel has seen him visit Stamford Bridge to watch the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner in action for the Blues.
“I’ve been to Chelsea to watch their games because of him (Mikel). I always want him to win, he’s a great midfielder. He’s helped the club a lot, he’s brought the name of the club up, he has the team spirit and camaradene, which made Chelsea proud.”
However, when Tinubu was asked about the dwindling fortunes of Manchester United, he replied, “Are we discussing only football today (Monday)? Right now I’m going to play my own game, politics. Whatever is happening to Man United, no one club can stay up forever. They’ve set a great record already and we would be back on top. I think we are around number seven in the English Premier League table now. It’s too early in the season to write us off, we will never say die.”
Thereafter, the respected politician walked briskly towards his Range Rover Sport, as his retinue of aides tried to outshine each other in opening the door for him.
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