Mikel confirmed on Tuesday that he took the field to face Lionel Messi's Argentina in their final 2018 World Cup fixture - with the knowledge that his father was being held at ransom.
The Super Eagles captain has since been lauded for his bravery and mental strength by his coach Gernot Rohr, who was 'surprised' upon learning about the ordeal this week.
"I was very surprised to hear this," Rohr told ESPN. "I did not know about it because he did not tell me.
"But it shows that he has good mental strength to be able to play in this situation. He is a real leader."
"It is shocking that such a thing happens to anybody. And to somebody who represents his country."