Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Ike Shoronmu has rubbished claims that Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel is Nigeria’s greatest player ever.
The 52-year-old ex-Besiktas and FC Zurich star said this while reacting to Daniel Amokachi crowning the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner as the best the country has seen in the sport.
Shoronmu recognises the feats Mikel achieved during his peak but insisted that he does not come close to the like of Segun Odegbami, Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Emmanuel Okala, and Peter Rufai.
“He’s our ambassador, you have to give it to him. Mikel is a great player but there are a lot of great players ahead of him who have played for Nigeria as well,” he told brila.net.
“If you look at the names like Kanu Nwankwo, Austin Jay-Jay Okocha, Emmanuel Okala, Peter Rufai, and Segun Odegbami, then you can’t just pick someone around the corner and say he’s the greatest player “. He said.
Shorunmu added that winning laurels in Europe is not enough yardstick to judge who the best player at the national level should be.
“It’s not like we hate any player, but there are a lot of people ahead of him and in terms of commitment to the national team.”
“The way he ( Amokachi ) think of might be different from that of others, if he said Mikel is one of the greatest, I don’t have any problem with that, but to say he’s greatest? , there is a lot of question marks on that.“
Amokachi had earlier granted an interview saying: “Mikel is the greatest player. He has won everything that a player can hope to; the Champions League, Europa, AFCON in 2013 and he also captained the national team,”
“As a footballer, your laurels count and that will surely count for Mikel because nobody has won that much in Nigerian football,” Amokachi said.