Rashidi Yekini Dies @ 49…After Going Bananas

Former Nigerian International and best ever goal scorer for the Super Eagles, Rashidi Yekini is dead.

Yekini, according to family sources, died in Ibadan at the age of 49. They could not give details of the cause of his death but said Yekini had been hit with some strange ailments which has kept him out of public view.

Other sources revealed that the two-time African footballer of the year had suffered mental illness for the past two years as walks the streets of Ibadan bare-footed even as he remained a recluse and reticent living alone in his house with few tenants.

A family friend of the footballer disclosed Rashidi’s only friends and visitors were his only two children after his marriage crashed in 1994.

Yekini was born in Kaduna and had made his mark with local football clubs before joining the Super Eagles and going international. He was the first Nigerian to win the African Footballer of the Year in 1993.

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 and became 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.

In the 1994 summer, Yekini was bought by Olympiacos FC and was also in La Liga with Sporting de Gijón, later he played with FC Zürich, Club Athlétique Bizertin and Al-Shabab Riyadh, before re-joining 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.

Yekini is also known to have assisted 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.

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

0 thoughts on “Rashidi Yekini Dies @ 49…After Going Bananas

  1. Indeed he was a legend dat naija never celebrated. now the govt & NFF wil have d money 2 waste 4 yekini’s burial but dey were so blind 2 see him as d nation’s hero wen he was suffering. may his gentle soul rest in pafect peace

  2. A great legend has gone. It is a pity dat nigeria dont cherish good patriots until dy ar gone. May he b granted aljanatu firdaus.

  3. It is great sorrow to hard that a great man lik yekini die in this nigeria.Yekini his a great and warrior man,which yoruba call /AKONI/ in term of football,he’s also a man that make nigeria proud of,may your soul be rest in perfect peac, good night nigeria footballer striker, Rashidi yekini.

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