Nigeria’s all-time leading goal scorer, Rashidi Yekini, passed away in Ibadan on May 4, 2012
Google Doodle marks the 60th birthday of legendary Nigerian footballer Rashidi Yekini, affectionately known as the “Goalsfather” for his uncanny ability to score goals, Soccernet.ng reports.
Google Doodle, known for its fun, surprising, and spontaneous changes made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and even legends, has changed to celebrate Yekini, who was born on October 23, 1963.
Yekini’s journey to becoming a football legend was filled with adversity. He faced homelessness and poverty in his early life, working as a welder and mechanic to make ends meet.
Despite these challenges, his dream was to pursue a professional football career, and he soon caught the attention of scouts, and ended up becoming an icon in the Nigerian football community.
In 1981, Yekini debuted for ‘UNTL FC’ in Kaduna, marking the start of his professional football journey. He later joined the Shooting Stars, where he delivered an incredible performance, scoring an impressive 45 goals in just 53 games.
Yekini’s remarkable scoring prowess earned him the prestigious ‘African Footballer of the Year’ title in 1983, making him the first Nigerian player to achieve this honour.
The following year, he played a pivotal role in taking the Shooting Stars to the finals of the African Champions Cup.
The football career of the Kaduna-born player extended beyond Nigeria, as he played for various football clubs in countries such as Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland.
In the 1993–94 season, he clinched the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) as the top goalscorer in the league while representing the Portuguese team Vitória Setúbal.
Yekini’s contributions were not limited to club football. He played a vital role in helping Nigeria’s national team qualify for the 1994 World Cup.
During the tournament, he etched his name in history by scoring Nigeria’s first goal, a moment of immense joy that saw him embrace the net with both arms, shedding tears of happiness.
This iconic goal celebration is still remembered by football fans worldwide. Yekini continued representing the Super Eagles for over 14 years, which included another World Cup appearance in 1998.
In total, he scored an impressive 37 goals in 58 games for Nigeria, holding the record for the highest number of goals scored for the national team.
See Rashidi’s Google Doodle here:
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