Former Premier League and FIFA referee Mark Clattenburg has named Super Eagles midfielder, Mikel Obi among the five most annoying players he has refereed in his career.
The 45-year-old Englishman is believed to be one of the best referees in the world following his umpire career at the 2016 European Championship, Champions League and FA Cup finals.
He however revealed that some other players tested his patience during his career and most especially during his time in the Premier League in England.
Clattenburg also told Daily Mail that former Liverpool star Craig Bellamy was the most annoying among these five players which also includes ex Manchester United star Roy Keane.
Referring to Bellamy, he said “I knew my relationship with him was on sticky ground when he squeezed my balls in the tunnel at the Etihad, and I don’t mean my match-balls.”
Clattenburg added that former Arsenal goalie, Jens Lehmann was also a difficult player as well as ex Real Madrid defender Pepe who was known for his aggressive style of play.
Speaking about Mikel, Clattenburg explained that the former Chelsea star accused him wrongly of making a racist comment which almost ended his career then.
“I have picked Mikel because of the incident during a Chelsea v Manchester United match in 2012 when he accused me of making a racist comment, which was not right and I was later cleared by the FA.
“It all left a bad feeling that still lingers today. Mikel only heard the allegation from his team-mate Ramires who did not speak English. Other Chelsea players have since apologized but nothing from Mikel.” he said.
CANDIIDONLINE reports that Mexican clubs C.F. Monterrey and Tigres UANL have entered the race to sign the former Super Eagles captain,John Mikel Obi.
The Liga MX sides believe the Nigerian’s experience would come in handy and are thereby ready to slug it out with Internacional and Botafogo.
Mikel had earlier generated interest from both Brazilian clubs since becoming a free agent in March after terminating his contract with Trabzonspor.