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Chelsea fans are no strangers to multiple monikers given their recent history of Brazilian talents, but it’s not often that an established Stamford Bridge star makes an official name change midway through their career.
Mikel was born John Michael Nchekwube Obinna (the son of Michael Obi) in 1987, but a mistake in 2003 changed things for the midfielder.
During the registration process for the 2003 Fifa Under-17 World Championships, the Nigeria Football Association mistakenly submitted ‘Michael’ as ‘Mikel’ for the tournament in Finland.
The competition ended in disappointment as Nigeria failed to qualify from their group despite Mikel scoring during a win against Australia, but the midfielder decided to keep his new name.
The Chelsea midfielder says the mistake had a “special ring to it,” and from joining Chelsea in 2006 he went by ‘Mikel John Obi’ instead of ‘John Obi Mikel.’
And the midfielder has now decided to officially change his full name to Mikel John Obi.
But Chelsea fans need not worry about their new 2016/17 replica shirts need not worry as ‘Mikel/12’ will stay on the jersey.