Gernot Rohr has spoken about the importance of Tianjin Teda midfielder John Obi Mikel to the national team ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
The Chinese Super League may not be one of the most competitive leagues in the world but the German tactician has pointed out that his captain will be match fit heading into the tournament as he plays week in, week out.
‘’Obi Mikel is our captain and leader, very important for this team. The level of football in China is now higher and I am, in fact, lucky that he plays all the time and what will come in the right shape for the World Cup,’’ Rohr told Sportske Novosti.
Former Nigeria manager Samson Siasia recently stated that Mikel is as good as two of Croatia’s biggest stars Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic, but Rohr does not want to be drawn into the debate.
‘’I would not compare the players, I was just talking about Mikel. Well, everybody knows who Modric is. He is a world class player playing high level in one of the best clubs in the world.
‘’I would say that like this, I believe Modric is to Croatia what John Obi Mikel is (to Nigeria),’’ added Rohr.
Nigeria will face off with Croatia in their World Cup opener at Kaliningrad Stadium, Kaliningrad on June 16.