Former Super eagles midfielder, Mikel Obi, has revealed the pressure faced by African footballers from their families, when they make money.
Mikel John Obi who is the richest Nigerian footballer with a net worth of around $45 million according to Celebrity Net worth, does not like the fact that African families believe footballers owe their success to them.
Speaking on Vibe with Five show, Mikel Obi highlighted the fact that opportunist starts getting married to players sisters just because they want to benefit from the wealth.
“When we come from Africa, and this is something that I don’t think we speak a lot about. When you make money, it’s not your money. You have all these relatives, cousins…whatever you call it. And your sisters, they get married to some guy who just wants to get married into the John Obi Mikel’s family because then “my life is sorted”. You send money to your sister, the money goes to him, and he does whatever he does with it. This is something nobody knows about.
“So you get your salary, you say okay, now I’m going to put this aside for this person, put this aside for that person, put this for mum and dad. Before you know it, where is it? You get nothing.” He continued
“And they keep having so many kids and so many kids and you look at it…Okay, you are having this much kids who is going to look after them? It’s you. They look out to you for you to look after the kids, husband, and the husband’s family. And it becomes really and absolutely crazy. For them, you owe them that.”
“So sometimes you have to be strong and say you know what guys enough is enough. I don’t care. For me that was five years ago, I said F it, no more. Because I’ve been doing this since I started playing football.”
“The reaction is you become the bad guy. They stop answering your phone calls,” added the former Chelsea midfielder
Mikel Obi also revealed that at one point in his career, his agent advised him to stop giving to the family more than he should.
“My agent told me ‘Mikel you can’t be doing this. You killing yourself and you killing them. Because all you do is give them and they get so comfortable that they expect you to do that for the rest of your life. And I came to that point five years ago Where I stopped.”
Mikel also added that some of them even go as far as threatening to take the issue to the press if you stop giving.
“They will give you this thing whereby if you don’t do it we going go to the press. What? After all that I’ve done for you guys?”
Watch the interview below (From minute 28th)