Champions League-winning ex-Chelsea midfielder John Obi MIkel has announced his retirement from football.
Mikel, who won eight major trophies with the Blues, made 372 total appearances during his 11 years in West London, but had been without a club since being released by Kuwait SC last November.
On the same day, another Premier League midfielder of a similar era – Fabian Delph – also called time on his own career.
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Delph earned 20 caps for England, and won the title with Manchester City in 2018 and 2019, but has suffered with injuries and was released by Everton last summer.
The 35-year-old Mikel wrote on Instagram: “There is a saying that ‘all good things must come to an end’, and for my professional football career, that day is today.
“I look back at the past 20 years of my career, and I must say that I am very satisfied with all that I was able to achieve and more importantly the human it has helped shape.
“All of this would not have been possible without the unwavering support of my family, managers, clubs, coaches, teammates and most importantly my ever-loyal fans. You supported me through my highs and lows, even on days that I did not live up to your expectations. I say a big thank you.
“I will also like to encourage everyone who I may have inspired one way or the other in the course of my career to never give up on their dreams, for every time you think about quitting, remind yourself why you started.
“This is not goodbye, it’s the start of another journey, another chapter of my life. I look forward to what the future holds and I hope you will walk with me. Thank you.”
Delph’s message conveyed no regret at how his career had panned out, despite his decision to stop playing at the relatively tender age of 32.
He wrote: “So today I announce my retirement with nothing but happiness and gratitude for what this beautiful game has given me.
“Massive shout out to my family, friends, players and staff from the amazing clubs I have been fortunate enough to represent as well as the support I have had from the fans.”
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