Former Nigerian international Ike Shoronmu has reacted to the statement made by his former teammate Daniel Amokachi that John Mikel Obi is the greatest Nigerian player of all time.
Amokachi made the statement while speaking on his popular program on Monday, the former Everton star insisted laurels put Mikel ahead of all other great players that ever come out of the country.
“Mikel is the greatest player. He has won everything that a player can hope to; the Champions League, Europa, AFCON in 2013 and he also captained the national team,”
“As a footballer, your laurels count and that will surely count for Mikel because nobody has won that much in Nigerian football,” Amokachi said.
However, Ike Shoronmu who is regarded as one of the best Nigerian goalkeepers told journalists that it’s difficult to award such title to the former Super Eagles captain, he claimed that there are several players who deserved the honor than the former Chelsea man.
“He’s our ambassador, you have to give it to him. Mikel is a great player but there are a lot of great players ahead of him who have played for Nigeria as well.” The former Besiktas of Turkey goalkeeper said.
“If you look at the names like Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Emmanuel Okala, Peter Rufai, and Segun Odegbami, then you can’t just pick someone around the corner and say he’s the greatest player “. He said.
The Korea/Japan 2002 goalkeeper added that winning laurels with European clubs are not enough yardstick to judge who is the country’s biggest football star, but admitted that Mikel is one of the best talents to ever wear the green and white jersey of Nigeria.
“It’s not like we hate any player, but there are a lot of people ahead of him and in terms of commitment to the national team.’ he added.
“The way he ( Amokachi ) think of might be different from that of others, if he said Mikel is one of the greatest, I don’t have any problem with that, but to say he’s greatest? , there is a lot of question marks on that “.he concluded.
Ike Shoronmu made 36 appearances for Nigeria’s Super Eagles between 1992 to 2002 and served as the national team goalkeeper coach.
He also worked with Nigeria professional football league sides Enyimba F.C. and Heartland F.C.