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Dublin: 18°C Sunday 13 June 2021

Nigerian football mourns the loss of World Cup '94 star Rashidi Yekini

The Super Eagles striker will be remembered fondly for his goal celebrations after scoring against Bulgaria in the tournament.

Rashidi Yekini of Nigeria battles with Roberto Sensini and Diego Simeone of Argentina.
Rashidi Yekini of Nigeria battles with Roberto Sensini and Diego Simeone of Argentina.
Image: Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport

FORMER AFRICAN FOOTBALLER of the Year and Nigerian international Rashidi Yekini has passed away at the age of 48.

The 59-times capped striker scored his country’s first ever goal at a World Cup, in 1994, and was part of the ‘Super Eagles’ team that won the African Cup of Nations that same year.

His death, on Friday night, comes after a long illness. He was buried in his native Kwara State on Saturday afternoon.

Former Nigerian teammate Sunday Oliseh told the BBC’s Sportsworld programme that Yekini was a player that gave everything to his country.

During my generation, he was the reason we were able to achieve the results we did – because of all the important goals he scored.

Perhaps the most memorable of all Yekini’s 37 international goals was one of the easiest he ever scored.

A tap-in at the back post put Nigeria in the lead against Bulgaria at the ’94 World Cup. Yekini’s momentum took him into the back of the goal and he screamed with joy as he hung from the netting.

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Yekini also featured for Nigeria at the 1998 World Cup in France and only retired from the game in 2005, at the age of 41.

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