NIGERIA’S captain, John Obi Mikel expressed his pride after Nigeria U23’s 3-2 victory over Honduras ensured they won the 2016 Olympic Games bronze medal.
The victory was secured by Sadiq Umar’s brace and second half from Aminu Umar and also ensured Nigeria joined East Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Brazil as they only countries to have won all the medals in the Games’ men football event.
A successful campaign in Brazil had sparked optimism about the Super Eagles’ chances of qualifying for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, Russia having missed out of two consecutive Africa Cup of Nations tournaments.
“Very proud of the entire team, which has a great future. It is an honor to win this bronze, is like a gold to us.
“To lead this team to an Olympics medal, and make Nigerians proud – this is why I play football,” Obi tweeted.
The 29-year-old was outstanding throughout the competition and got one of Nigeria’s goals in the 2-0 quarter-final defeat of Denmark.
Having ended the championship on a high, he was expected to return to the Stamford Bridge where he is expected to battle for a regular place in Antonio Conte’s squad.
Nigeria, the 1996 Olympic football champion, is the most successful African country in Olympic men’s football, and the first African country to complete an Olympic medal sweep having won a sliver medal in Beijing in 2008.