Google celebrates Nigeria’s Rashidi Yekini on His 60th Posthumous Birthday
Rashidi Yekini may have died since May 4, 2012, but that did not stop Google Doodle from celebrating his posthumous birthday.
●23rd October 2023
Today, Google Doodle pays tribute to Nigerian footballer, Rashidi Yekini, who would have turned 60 years old on this day. Known for his prolific goal-scoring abilities and nicknamed the ‘Goalsfather,’ Yekini’s remarkable journey from adversity to football stardom is being celebrated across Nigeria and beyond.
The doodle opened with a bio about the Kaduna-born striker: “Today’s Doodle celebrates iconic Nigerian footballer Rashidi Yekini, an accomplished forward nicknamed the “Goalsfather” for his ability to sneak shots by the keeper. On this day in 1963, he was born in Kaduna, Nigeria.”
“The beginning of Yekini’s life was difficult as he faced homelessness and poverty. To make money, his first jobs were as a welder and mechanic, but his true goal was to pursue football. He soon began playing in front of scouts and in 1981, he joined his first football club, UNTL FC, in Kaduna,” it read in part.
“He went on to play for the Super Eagles for a little over 14 years, including another shot at the World Cup in 1998. In his 58 games for Nigeria, he scored 37 times, and to this day holds the record for most goals scored for the country.
“Happy birthday, Rashidi Yekini!
Today would’ve been Baba Yekini 6️⃣0️⃣th birthday 🎂 #Nigeria legend Rashidi Yekini scored FOUR goals to finish as the top scorer at the 1992 AFCON in Senegal.
Yekini’s football career began with ‘UNTL FC’ in Kaduna in 1981, where he quickly caught the eye of scouts due to his extraordinary talent. Later, he joined the prestigious Shooting Stars, amassing an impressive record of 45 goals in just 53 games. His exceptional goal-scoring prowess earned him the title of ‘African Footballer of the Year’ in 1983, making him the first Nigerian player to receive this prestigious honor. In the following year, he played a pivotal role in leading the Shooting Stars to the finals of the African Champions Cup.
His talent transcended national borders as he went on to play for various football clubs in countries like Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland. Notably, he secured the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) in the 1993-94 season while playing for the Portuguese team Vitória Setúbal, further solidifying his status as a world-class striker.
Yekini’s impact was not limited to club football. He was a key figure for Nigeria’s national team, the ‘Super Eagles,’ and played a crucial role in their qualification for the 1994 World Cup. His iconic celebration, where he clutched the net with both arms and shed tears of joy after scoring Nigeria’s first-ever World Cup goal, remains etched in the annals of football history as a symbol of pure passion and patriotism.
Continuing his football career for over 14 years with the Super Eagles, Yekini participated in the 1998 World Cup, ending his international career with an astounding record of 37 goals in 58 games, a record that still stands as the most goals scored for Nigeria.
Sadly, Rashidi Yekini passed away in 2012 after battling health problems for an extended period. His legacy, however, continues to inspire the current generation of footballers in Nigeria and beyond.
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