Nigerian captain, John Obi Mikel said he could not have sacrificed his participation in the last Olympics just for a place in Antonio Conte’s Chelsea squad.
The midfielder still feels he made the right choice by playing in the tournament, despite being frozen out at Stanford Bridge.
Mikel insisted that he has no regrets over his decision to play at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The 29-year-old skippered Samson Siasia’s men to win the bronze medal in Brazil and has since been overlooked by Conte since his return to the West London outfit.
Despite the snub by the Italian, Mikel maintained that opting to represent Nigeria ahead of the Blues’ pre-season camp was not a bad decision.
He told The Sun, “I have never been a guy who makes excuses in life and never shy away from responsibilities.
“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,” he continued.
“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?”