Saturday, 5 May 2012
YEKINI 1993 FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR PASSES ON
Shorunmu told SuperSport.com that he is yet to come to term with the reality that the former African footballer of the year is dead.
"I'm shocked to the marrow, I'm still in shock and lacked the appropriate words to either react or express the sense of loss his death has on me.
"Yekini was a likeable guy, funny and interesting person with no dull moment once he is in camp or with you.
"He is equally principled, a patriot to the core and a staunch believer in the greatness of the senior national team."
The former Nigerian goalkeeper and a close pal of the fallen free scoring goal hero would want Yekini to be immortalised by the government.
"Yekini was loved by everybody, we can't afford to forget him, so naming a national edifice or structure after him will not be asking for too much.
"Yekini touched virtually everybody's life in one way or another, loved too, by everybody.
"He died as our highest goal scorer," said the former Besiktas goal stopper.
Sources say that the former African Player of the year, died this evening in Ibadan after a prolonged illness.
He died at the age of 48 and would be buried in his hometown, Offa, in Kwara State Saturday.
Rashidi Yekini was Nigeria’s national team highest goal scorer on record, scoring 37 goals for in 58 appearances.
Rashidi Yekini (born 23 October 1963) was a Nigerian retired footballer who played as a striker. He scored Nigeria’s first goal in a FIFA World Cup. He died on 4 May 2012.
Club career:Yekini was born in Kaduna. After starting his professional career in the Nigerian league, he moved to Côte d’Ivoire to play for Africa Sports National.
From there he went to Portugal and Vitória de Setúbal, where he experienced his most memorable years, eventually becoming the Portuguese first division’s top scorer, in 1993–94, as his performances (32 matches, 34 goals) earned him the title of African Footballer of the Year in 1993, the first ever from the nation.In the 1994 summer, Yekini was bought by Olympiacos FC, but did not get along with teammates and left.
His career never really got back on track, not even upon a return to Setúbal, which happened after another unassuming spell, in La Liga with Sporting de Gijón. He successively played with FC Zürich, Club Athlétique Bizertin and Al-Shabab Riyadh, before rejoining Africa Sports. In 2003, at 39, he returned to the Nigerian championship with Julius Berger FC.
In 2005, 41-year old Yekini made a short comeback, moving alongside former national teammate Mobi Oparaku to Gateway FC.
Scoring 37 goals for Nigeria’s national side in 58 appearances,
Yekini is the national record goalscorer.
He was part of the team that participated in the 1994 FIFA World Cup (where he scored Nigeria’s first-ever goal in a World Cup, in a 3–0 win against Bulgaria) and the 1998 World Cup.
Additionally, Yekini also helped the Super Eagles win the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations, where he also topped the goal charts, and participated at Olympic level, in Seoul 1988.
Years Team App and Goals
1981–1982UNTL Kaduna 1982–1984Shooting Stars 1984–1987Abiola Babes 1987–1990Africa Sports 1990–1994 Vitória Setúbal108(90) 1994–1995Olympiacos4(2) 1995–1996Sporting Gijón14(3) 1997Vitória Setúbal14(3) 1997–1998Zürich28(14) 1998–1999Bizerte 1999Al-Shabab 1999–2002Africa Sports 2002–2003Julius Berger 2005Gateway