Former Nigeria national football team captain Mikel John Obi, 35, on Tuesday announced his retirement from professional football.
"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," 35-year-old Obi said in an emotion-laden statement.
"There is a saying that all good things must come to an end, and for my professional football career, that day is today," he said.
The midfield maestro had a successful playing career, winning several honors for Nigeria, including the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013. He quit international football in 2019 after representing Nigeria at that year's continental tournament.
In his club career, Obi won two Premier League titles, three FA Cup trophies, the 2007 League Cup, and the 2013 Europa League with Chelsea. In 2012, he also was part of the Chelsea team that won the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
He also had spells with clubs in China, Turkiye and Kuwait, where he drew a curtain on his professional career on Tuesday. He left Chinese side Tianjin Teda in November 2018.
"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," he said.