Leicester City midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi, has revealed his admiration for Chelsea pair of John Mikel Obi and John Terry, while admitting he was a Blues fan growing up.
Ndidi earned his seventh cap for Nigeria last week during the 1-1 draw with Senegal – played in London at The Hive, the home of League Two side Barnet.
The 20-year-old earned a move to Premier League champions Leicester in January after putting in a series of fine displays for Belgian club Genk.
And Ndidi believes that his younger days spent following the progress of Mikel and watching Chelsea legend John Terry has helped forge his path to England.
“I have always looked up to Mikel,” Ndidi told Goal.com. “When he was at Chelsea, I was at Nath Boys [as a youth player] and I have always liked him as a player. I have always been crazy about Mikel. The way he plays is amazing.
“When me and my friends talk about players, we always want to talk about Mikel. He is so important for Nigerian football. I actually liked two players from outside of Nigeria [when I was younger]. Kaka and John Terry.
“Because I was a central defender, I was watching John Terry. The way he was leading Chelsea and putting his heart into it made me like him. I liked Chelsea, with Mikel and Terry.
“They were my favourite players, but I never dreamed of the Premier League. I just wanted to play football. Enjoy the game. For Kaka, I didn’t watch much of him at AC Milan, but when he won the Ballon d’Or I started to look at him.
“I followed him up and watched him more when he went to Madrid. I liked his style of play and I liked his lifestyle outside of football. Very professional.”