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Rashidi Yekini@60: 12 things to know about the late ‘goalsfather’

Nicknamed the ‘Goalsfather,’ the late Rashidi Yekini’s impact on soccer globally remains one etched in the hearts of millions.

His exceptional soccer skills have remained a point of reference for many soccer stars across the globe.

As the world celebrates the one-time ‘African Footballer of The Year,’ who would have turned 60 today, October 23, 2023, here are 12 things you should know about the late Rashidi Yekini.

(1) He was born October 23, 1963, in Kaduna State to Yoruba parents from Kwara State.

(2) Yekini started as a welder and mechanic before he honoured his football calling, joining his first football club, ‘UNTL FC’ in Kaduna.

(3) In 1982, he joined the Shooting Stars, where he remained for two years and scored 45 goals in 53 games.

(4) In 1993, Yekini became the first Nigerian footballer to bag the ‘African Footballer of the Year.’

(5) In 1984, Yekini led the Shooting Stars to the finals of the African Champions Cup.

(6) The late soccer star also played for international clubs in Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland.

(7) In the 1993-94 season, during his time at Portugal’s Vitória Setúbal, Yekini clinched the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) for being the top scorer in the league. He scored an impressive 21 goals

(8) Yekini played a vital role in Nigeria’s national team, the ‘Super Eagles,’ qualifying for the 1994 World Cup. He scored the first goal of the match.

(9) He remained with the Super Eagles for over 14 years, making another World Cup appearance in 1998.

(10) During his time with the Super Eagles, Yekini scored 37 goals in 58 games for Nigeria.

(11) He was married to three wives and had three daughters: Yemisi, Omoyemi, and Damilola.

(12) Yekini died in Ibadan, Oyo State, on May 4, 2012, at age 48.

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