The Super Eagles Midfielder, John Obi Mikel, has admitted that his French counterpart, Paul Pogba, won the battle in the middle of the park when their teams clashed in the second round of the Fifa World Cup on Monday.
France went on to win with late goals from Pogba and Joseph Yobo’s error to put an end to Nigeria’s hopes of reaching the last eight for the first time in World Cup history.
But the Chelsea man has now owned up that apart from the midfield duel with Pogba being “incredible” the Frenchman deserved top marks.
“It was an incredible duel, it’s true. There were times when I thought he was starting to look tired, but then he went and scored the opening goal. I guess that, in the end, he wasn’t that tired! But yes, the two of us had a really good tussle.
“He’s an unbelievable player, isn’t he? He got the better of me today, but I’m sure we’ll come up against each other loads more times in the future. Who knows, maybe even at the next World Cup?” said Mikel rhetorically of the Juventus midfielder to Fifa.com.
However, Mikel believes the Super Eagles “had a great tournament” despite seeing their ambition come to a halt in the round of 16.
The 27-year-old midfielder the team kept their shape until they conceded in the 79th minute and later in stoppage time to “mistakes.”
“Honestly, I don’t think that we should be feeling bad right now. We’ve had a great tournament and today we showed the whole world just what we’re capable of, even when up against a great team.