Former Chelsea Midfielder, John Obi Mikel has opened up on the reason behind his decision to leave the club in 2017.
Mikel was part of the Chelsea team that won the elusive Uefa Champions League trophy in 2012 and the Europa League a year later.
The former Middleborough midfielder has now open up on the clash between him and Antonio Conte that led to his departure.
“I had been called up by my national team to play and it was a dream,” Mikel told The Athletic. “It’s a dream for anyone to go to the Olympics. Yes, as players we want to win the Champions League and the World Cup, but the Olympics is a massive tournament.”
“This guy [Conte] who has just walked in the door for five minutes is telling me I had to choose.
“He was saying, ‘If you do that, you won’t be a part of this team’. I spoke to the club and told them that I wanted to go. The club respected me because of what I had done for them and how long I’d been there.
“So off I went and I felt punished for that. I came back and I didn’t make the squad. I was never in the squad list on matchdays again.
“The funny thing is, just before the January window was going to start, he came up to me and said ‘I want a meeting with you’. This was after making me train on my own for months, treating a player who had been at Chelsea for a long time like this!
“When he tried to meet with me he was like, ‘Let’s try and make up, I will need you in the team, let’s squash this, blah, blah, blah!’. I was like, ‘Are you joking?! Are you f*cking serious?!’ He knew I wanted out. I stood up and walked out of the room. You can’t disrespect a human being like that.
Mikel later left Chelsea to join Tianjin Jeda in the Chinese League in the January 2017.