Super Eagles captain, Mikel John Obi has revealed he just want to give back to the society through the same thing that brought fame and riches to him after unveiling plans on his project to develop the next generation football stars for the country, AOIFootball.com reports.
Mikel was at the home of former Lagos State Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu alongside NFF 1st vice president Barr Seyi Akinwunmi to solicit the support of the political leader and also his endorsement towards his Foundation.
“I came from the streets. I am happy I have been able to overcome challenges and rise to be who I am today. I, therefore, decided to set up the Mikel Obi Foundation and give back to the streets by creating a platform for the less privileged to also rise. This is why I have come to seek your blessing.
“After fortunately coming through the rigorous process of the Pepsi Academy in Nigeria, I know firsthand how many flames of dreams died along the way. Now, I want to help change that,” Mikel said while addressing the former Lagos State Governor.
In his response, Asiwaju Tinubu welcomed the former Blues midfielder whilst congratulating him on the project he’s about to embark on.
“I will say congratulations. I am very proud to receive you. I am a great fan of football, even though I don’t support your former club, Chelsea. You have made this country, Nigeria proud with your achievements. You have also contributed to the success of others and you are a great symbol for our children.
“I am in total support of your program to help our kids to develop their talents. You will be an inspiration and a mentor to many of them. Your efforts are commendable, supportable; I will, therefore, commit myself to support you in any way that you seek.
“You are welcome to this humble home of mine. We will regard you as a family member. Just come in anytime, no formality; just let me know what I can do. I have been supporting so many efforts and initiatives like yours especially in the areas of arts, culture, and music and in many other areas of talents. I will commit myself to your cause”, Ashiwaju Tinubu said.
Mikel’s “Nigeria’s Next Football Superstar” project will seek to raise another generation of footballers in the country.
According to him, boys of between 13 and 16 will have to apply to be the next superstar. From the audition and trials, nine boys will be selected, with the winners receiving a two-week training session with a top English club and a chance to earn a youth contract.