It has been eight years since the demise of Nigeria’s record goal scorer, Rashidi Yekini, and like always, football fans and stars across the globe are paying tributes to the late football legend.
Yekini died on May 4, 2012.
Despite the sadness in Yekini’s death, there is immeasurable pride in his achievements; some which are still unmatched till date.
Leading the line of tributes for Yekini was former Super Eagles captain and national team coach, Sunday Oliseh, who in the past years has paid glowing tributes to his exemplary teammate.
Oliseh who played several years alongside Yekini especially at the AFCON Tunisia 94 and FIFA World Cup USA 94 admitted that Nigeria lost a rare gem eight years ago.
8 years ago Today, we lost Nigeria’s greatest striker of all time in Rashidi Yekini. May his blessed soul rest in Peace pic.twitter.com/QDQBAVgTYF
— Sunday Oliseh (@SundayOOliseh) May 4, 2020
He wrote: “8 years ago Today, we lost Nigeria’s greatest striker of all time in Rashidi Yekini. May his blessed soul rest in peace”.
Another of Yekini’s teammate, Mutiu Adepoju, was also on Twitter to praise Yekini for his laudable achievements.
Adepoju wrote: “Dear mate, I feel honoured playing with you in Nigeria colours and that was a big achievement on its own. You gave your 100% always.
“Whenever we seem down and defeated, you always conjure your magic wand and get us out of trouble with your goal.
“It was never a dull moment with you in camp as everyone’s ribs would be cracked at your jokes. You were never a contentious person and you saw everyone as your brother not minding their backgrounds.
I will never forget you, Nigerians will never forget you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace king Rasheed Yekini. You were created to score goals and your class remains unmatched! #RasheedYekiniLivesOn
— Mutiu Adepoju (@MutiuAdepoju8) May 4, 2020
“I will never forget you, Nigerians will never forget you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace King Rasheed Yekini. You were created to score goals and your class remains unmatched!”
According to another living soccer legend, Segun Odegbami, Yekini deserves much more from a country he served with all his might
“If we are serious as a country, Rashidi Yekini is so big a football personality at the level of his achievements that his birthplace and resting place could easily become ‘shrines’ for visitors to come and pay homage,” Odegbami said.
Apart from former Super Eagles players, the world football governing body, FIFA, also paid tribute to the late Nigerian striker whose iconic goal celebration at the USA 1994 remains evergreen.
— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) May 4, 2020
Though criticised in some quarters for not doing enough to immortalise this legend, the Nigeria Football Federation, through a video compilation, also paid tributes to Yekini on Monday.
Today we remember one of the World’s most feared strikers of his time, Rashidi Yekini who passed on to glory on this day in 2012. May his soul continue to Rest In Peace. #RIPYekini #GoalsFather #SoarSuperEagles #Team9jsStrong pic.twitter.com/MR6epbZcOe
— The NFF 🇳🇬 (@thenff) May 4, 2020
Till date, it is only the effort of a few friends that has continued to keep alive the memory of one of the greatest footballers in the history of the game in Nigeria.
Rashidi Yekini: Eighth big feats by the legend
Ø Nigeria’s all-time highest goal scorer-37 Goals
Ø Scored Nigeria’s 1st World Cup goal
Ø African Footballer of The Year 1993
Ø Portuguese League Top Scorer 1994
Ø AFCON Top Scorer 1992 & 1994
Ø Tunis 94 MVP
Ø 3rd All-Time AFCON highest goal scorer (13).
Ø 91 Goals for Victoria Setubal