John Obi Mikel claims he has no regrets over representing Nigeria at the Olympics, despite rumours it has caused his snub this season at Chelsea.
Mikel has not featured for Chelsea under new manager Antonio Conte, with the midfielder having not enjoyed a pre-season at Stamford Bridge.
The midfielder featured for his country at the Olympic Games as Nigeria secured a bronze medal, but Mikel has found himself out of favour upon his return to club football.
He insists he does not regret choosing his country first this summer however.
“I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities,” he told The Sun.
“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.
“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?”