John Obi Mikel has insisted that he has no regrets over his decision to play at the 2016 Olympics stage in Rio.
The Chelsea midfielder captained Samson Siasia’s men to win the bronze medal in the championship, and has since been left out of Antonio Conte’s squad on return to the Stamford Bridge.
Despite the snub by the Italian manager, Mikel believes picking Nigeria ahead of the Blues’ pre-season camp was the right one to make.
“I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities,” Mikel told TheSun.
“Yes, maybe people will say the new manager was upset I left and went to the Olympics, that I didn’t have a pre-season with the team.
“He probably thinks I don’t care about the team, things like that.
“But I don’t want to use those excuses. I have to keep training hard and make sure I change the manager’s mind. If not, then we’ll see what happens in January.”
“But, no, I would never swap my Olympic medal for a place back in the Chelsea team,” he continued.
“One thing you have to do in life as a man is that when you make a decision, or a sacrifice, you have to deal with it.
“You have to stand by your decision. You have to live with it.
“I have not one single regret in going to the Olympics. And I will not trade my medal for anything.
“It’s what I deserve. I worked hard for it, so why would I trade it for something else — a place in the Chelsea squad?”