By Obi Martins Okafor
Not many heroes in Nigerian football can be compared to the legendry striker, Rashidi Yekini.
The Ex-striker who stands 6ft 3in tall died on Friday and was laid to rest in Kwara State the next day according to Islamic rite.
He started his career at Kaduna United in 1981 before spending the next nine years playing for a host of African clubs. Yekini then moved to Victoria Setubal of Portugal, during which he enjoyed successful 4 years and won the league top scorer award in 1993-1994 season.
He later enjoyed playing in Greece, Spain, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia before eventually retiring with Julius Berger of Nigeria. Though he made a brief turn around on his retirement in 2005, when he joined Gateway club of Abeokuta at the of 41years but it was on a short spell.
Rashidi Yekini is Nigeria’s all time highest goal scorer till date. He was respected on and off the pitch both in Europe and Africa. Also he was awarded the African Footballer of the Year award in 1993 and went on to win the African cup of nations in 1994 making him the only reigning African player of the year to win the AFCON title.
He is remembered for his excellent football control, his speed, awareness, shot power and composure in front of goal. This is the same composure seen in the first Nigerian Goal ever scored in the World Cup which was an assist by Finidi George. The goal was celebrated by every single Nigerian focused on the games that year.
His legendry record breaking career will go down in history at a time when Nigerian football had enjoyed her most successful era.
Rashidi Yekini the name which many Nigerians use as a means of qualifying goal getters and the most potent of strikers will be missed and mourned in Nigeria and the world over.
May his soul rest in peace.