Siasia made the assertion when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the reason for his preference for Obi who he took to the 2016 Olympics and returned with a silver.
“There is nothing special between me and Obi; it’s only that I so much like him as a player. You can’t take it away from him that he is one of the greatest exports of Nigerian football.
“Obi started playing for top clubs at an early stage in his life and has won virtually everything he wants and above all, he is a good and committed player.
“You can also see his contributions to the national team, so, who will not like such a player. He is a fantastic lad and always playing at the top.
“If you have such a player in your team, then, you can have the compliments of others, to me he is a great export and an ambassador,’’ he said.
He said Obi had done creditably well both at the club level and the national team.
Siasia had once said Obi was a player at par with Real Madrid ace midfielder, Luka Modric and other best midfielder in the world.
Mikel represented Nigeria in the U-20 at the FIFA World Youth Championship and won the silver ball behind Lionel Messi and made his debut for the national team on Aug. 17, 2005.
Mikel was, however, called to represent the U-23 team by Siasia for the last Olympic qualifier in a must win match but failed to show up, this led the coach to axe him from the team.
The dependable defensive midfielder, however, got his chance to play in the Olympics as a captain in Brazil, winning the bronze medal after defeating Honduras 3-2.
Mikel was also named Chelsea “Young Player of the Year’’ in 2007 and 2008, and he was African “Young Player of the Year’’ in 2005 and 2006.