Former Super Eagles Captain John Obi Mikel and current La Albiceleste of Argentina Captain Lionel Messi have indeed come a long way and indeed deserve accolades.
That both players have in the course of the game left their footsteps on the sand of football history is to put it mildly.
Both players locked horns in quest for honours at the FIFA Under 20 World cup in Netherlands 14 years ago, gingered their teams all the way to the final with Lionel Messi running away with the Golden boot after scoring two penalties against Nigeria and Argentina emerging champions.
Nigeria’s only goal on that occasion was scored by in the 53rd minute by Chinedu Ogbuke.
Mikel who only few days ago sealed a two year contract with Turkish premier league side Trabzonspor, the fifth club of his over 15 years football career and Messi who has been described as a one club man haven spent his close to 16 years soccer career with Barcelona all the way, have indeed seen it all. The two Olympians have played the game at its highest levels and boast mouthwatering awards and titles including the most cherished Champions league titles.
Although five time Ballon d Or winner Messi could be said to parade more awards the exploits of Mikel cannot be waved off Prompting some soccer fans to ask the question between Mikel and Messi who is the greatest or better still who is a more complete player.
Those for the Argentine captain point to his numerous awards and titles as well as his over 420 goals for the Catalonians while those who point to the direction of Mikel point highlight the fact that he has played for five different clubs namely Lyn, Chelsea, Tianjin TEDA, Middlesbrough and now Trabzonspor.
Ability to fit into new clubs and still deliver supporters of the Nigerian say is the hallmark of greatness.
Messi as far as they are concerned is great and has continued to do a great job for Barcelona but Mikel stands out with his ability to rise to the occasion not just for one club but in different clubs.
Blending with new teammates with every move to a new club is not a walk in the park and players who are able to do that a school of thought insists certainly deserve accolades.