We can confirm this evening that former African Player of the year, Rashidi Yekini is dead. He died at the age of 49, family sources said he died after a brief illness.
Yekini would be buried in his hometown, Offa, in Kwara State Saturday.
Profile Of Late Rashidi Yekini:
Rashidi Yekini, born 23 October 1963, was a Nigerian retired footballer who played as a striker.
He scored Nigeria’s first goal in a FIFA World Cup.
He died on 4 May 2012.
Yekini was born in Kaduna. 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, where he experienced his most memorable years, eventually becoming 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, the first ever from the nation. In the 1994 summer, Yekini was bought by Olympiacos FC, but did not get along with teammates and left.
His career never really got back on track, not even upon a return to Setúbal, which happened after another unassuming spell, in La Liga with Sporting de Gijón. He successively played with FC Zürich, Club Athlétique Bizertin and Al-Shabab Riyadh, before rejoining 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. Additionally, Yekini also helped 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.
Years, Team Appearances and Goals:
1981–1982 UNTL Kaduna1982–1984 Shooting Stars
1984–1987 Abiola Babes
1987–1990 Africa Sports
1990–1994 Vitória Setúbal108(90)
1995–1996 Sporting Gijón14(3)1997 Vitória Setúbal14(3)
1999–2002 Africa Sports
2002–2003 Julius Berger