Mikel: Del Piero my toughest opponent
John Mikel Obi has revealed that ex-Juventus hero, Alessandro Del Piero, is the toughest opponent he has faced in his professional career.
Obi admitted that the Italian was too inexperienced to stop the number 10 when Chelsea tackled the Serie A powerhouse in the Champions League.
The Nigeria international faced off with Del Piero in the Champions League in 2009, with both players lasting the distance in both legs at Stamford Bridge and Stadio Olimpico, and Obi admitted he was second best to the Italian.
Obi said: “I think Alessandro Del Piero was the best. I played against him a couple of times when he was at Juventus.
“He was close to retirement, but he just was so clever. He was finding space behind me every time to get the ball. I’d think ‘I’ve got him’ but then he’d just do something.
“I was inexperienced, he was very experienced, and he was just too clever for me. I was trying to beat him with energy, but he could beat me with his head.”
Obi has been playing as a holding midfielder for Chelsea for the past 10 years, whereas he has more offensive responsibilities for the national teams.