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Mikel Reveals Big Conte Fallout

Former Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed how his decision to represent Nigeria at the 2016 Olympic Games resulted in a massive fallout with Antonio Conte, one that led to him storming out of the manager's office.

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The African star left FK Lyn in Norway in 2006 to join the Stamford Bridge-based club, whom he went on to represent for 11 years.

In 2016, after Conte's arrival at Chelsea, Mikel saw his game time drastically reduced, but it did not come as a surprise to him as the Italian manager had warned him that if he went to the Olympics with his national team that year, he would not be a part of his plans at the Blues.

"This guy who has just walked in the door for five minutes is telling me I had to choose. He was saying, 'If you do that, you won't be a part of this team'," he told The Athletic.

"I spoke to the club and told them that I wanted to go. The club respected me because of what I had done for them and how long I'd been there.

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"So off I went and I felt punished for that. I came back and I didn't make the squad. I was never in the squad list on matchdays again.

"The funny thing is, just before the January window was going to start, he came up to me and said, 'I want a meeting with you.'

"This was after making me train on my own for months, treating a player who had been at Chelsea for a long time like this!

"When he tried to meet with me, he was like, 'Let's try and make up, I will need you in the team, let's squash this, blah, blah, blah!'

"I was like, 'Are you joking?! Are you f****** serious?!' He knew I wanted out. I stood up and walked out of the room. You can't disrespect a human being like that."

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Mikel played 372 times for Chelsea, winning nine trophies along the way, including two Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League.

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