VIDEO: Chelsea's Mikel receives Nigeria player of the year award

The Blues midfielder has accepted the award voted for by readers of the site ahead of the Super Eagles’ quarter final match against Cote D’Ivoire at the Africa Cup of Nations

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel accepted the Nigeria Fans’ Player of the Year 2012 award on Thursday ahead of the Super Eagles’ quarter final match against Cote D’Ivoire in Rustenburg.

36.84 per cent of readers preferred Mikel ahead of Chelsea teammate Victor Moses, CSKA Moscow's Ahmed Musa, Kano Pillars' Reuben Gabriel and Montpellier's John Utaka for the title of the best Nigerian player of the past year.

Accepting the award from Nigeria chief editor Lolade Adewuyi, Mikel thanked the fans and spoke of his intentions to lead Nigeria to a successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

On the burden of expectations placed on him by Nigerian fans with the award, Mikel told “The pressure is even more and I’m primed to carry the burden and try to lead this team to a very successful tournament.

“All of us are doing everything we can and the players are all in good shape. The team is together and all we have to do is just keep doing what we’re doing. The camp seems to be very united and everyone is focused on what we’re doing.

“The quarter final is going to be an opportunity for us to go out there and show the world what we can do against [the Elephants].

The 25 year-old recently signed a new five year contract with Chelsea. One of the things fans want to see do is to score his first Premier League goal.

“That’s something that I’ve always put in my mind, something that I’m working very hard towards,” he said. “I’ve come pretty close in most of the games that I’ve played but I think one day it will come.

“I’m praying and hoping that one day the goal will come,” Mikel concluded.