Nigeria’s John Obi Mikel has described his social experience in China after spending a season with Tianjin Teda FC.
Mikel, who has newly returned to Europe to play his football for Middlesbrough in the English Championship, spoke to English media to confirm that life was challenging in the Asian giant nation.
“It was two years of a huge culture shock.
“The food was a problem, the lifestyle, the style in which everything was done,” Mikel said.
The 31-year-old also touched on some football related areas that the Chinese need addressing.
“When you have been at a club like Chelsea in the Premier League, for 11 years, it was very hard to adapt to how things were done. It isn’t at the elite level, let’s put it that way.
“The pitches were poor, stadiums are poor, and the medical facilities were not what I was used to. I’m not saying it’s all the Chinese clubs, some of them are quite professional, but the one I was at, it wasn’t as professional as it should have been. It became tough for me almost straight away.
“I wouldn’t say I regretted it, I had a good time with my team-mates, but it was never easy. The standard of football, it’s not even Championship standard,” Mikel concluded.