He might have won the Premier League, Champions League and a host of other trophies in his illustrious career, but for John Obi Mikel, promotion to the Premier League would rank right up there alongside those achievements.
“If we manage to pull it off, it would be amazing,” he said. “It would be up there as one of my greatest achievements.”
Middlesbrough signed Mikel in the January transfer window in a transfer that raised eyebrows among the Boro faithful.
While there were no questions about the quality of the player, the fact that Boro were already well stocked in the defensive midfield department left some fans questioning the utility of the transfer.
However, as far as Mikel is concerned, the Nigerian International has silenced his critics with his performances on the pitch.
Boro have lost only one of the five games in which Mikel has featured and while they are in 5th place going into the weekend, they have the advantage of having a game in hand.
“I’m still hungry and want to win trophies,” Mikel declared. “I’m never satisfied with what I have achieved. If I was, I would just sit at home.”
“I want to achieve something with this club and that is to get this club promoted.”
“I love challenges and I knew coming in here would be a challenge for me, and being in the second division would be a challenge for me.”
“I knew this club would be pushing for promotion and managing to do that wouldn’t be easy.”
Yet, since he is on a short term deal at the Riverside which will run out at the end of the season, Mikel is adamant that he isn’t thinking about long-term future.
“I want to enjoy my football and enjoy winning games with this club, these players are an amazing group of guys,” he said.
“Every time we win a game you see that feeling of wanting to be in the Premier League.”
"That is something I want to keep enjoying with them until the end of the season. And then we see where we are."