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I’m Leaving Chelsea as a Champion – Mikel

John Mikel Obi admits it has ‘truly been an honour’ to play for Chelsea as the Nigerian midfielder penned an open farewell to fans after bringing his 10-year stay at the club to an end.

The 29-year-old departed the club on Thursday after sealing a move to Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin TEDA.

Vanguard reports that a picture was shared on Chinese website Webo of Mikel shaking hands with a Tianjin club official and holding the club’s shirt as he became the latest Premier League player to move to the far east.

The news first broke on Thursday, with the midfielder offered a package worth around £140,000 per week for three years.

In an open letter shared on his Twitter account, Mikel shared memories of his greatest achievements in 10-trophy-laden years at Stamford Bridge.

He wrote: ‘To play in the Premier League, the best league in the world, is every professional player’s ambition. But to play for Chelsea, to become part of the Chelsea family, to work with some of the best managers and players in the world, has truly been an honour.

‘Every achievement I have been part of in my time at Chelsea holds a special memory: my first goal, against Macclesfield in 2007 (even though there were only five more after that!).

‘The nail-biting end of the 2010 season – securing the title on the last day, scoring a record 103 goals in the process, and winning the FA Cup a week later. Didier’s extra time winner against Manchester United in the 2007 FA Cup Final.

‘Beating two of our biggest London rivals in League Cup finals. Winning the Europa League in Amsterdam, with one of the last kicks of the game.’

The Nigeria captain reserved special praise though for Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in 2012.

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