Google Honours Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria’s Goalsfather, on His 60th Birthday

Google Honours Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria’s Goalsfather, on His 60th Birthday

Fawaz Adebisi

Today, Google Doodle celebrates the life and legacy of Rashidi Yekini, the Nigerian football legend who scored the country’s first goal in the World Cup history.

Yekini was born on October 23, 1963, in Kaduna, Nigeria. He faced many hardships in his early life, such as homelessness and poverty, but he never gave up on his passion for football.

He worked as a welder and mechanic before joining his first football club, ‘UNTL FC’ in Kaduna, in 1981.

He soon became a star striker for the Shooting Stars, where he scored 45 goals in 53 games.

He also won the prestigious title of ‘African Footballer of the Year’ in 1983, becoming the first Nigerian player to do so.

Yekini played for various football clubs across the world, such as Spain’s Sporting Gijón, Tanzania’s Coastal Union, Saudi Arabia’s Al-Shabab, Tunisia’s Olympique Béja, Greece’s Olympiacos and Portugal’s Vitória Setúbal.

He was awarded the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) in the 1993-94 season as the league’s top-scoring player while with Vitória Setúbal.

He was also a key member of Nigeria’s national team, the ‘Super Eagles,’ and helped them qualify for the 1994 World Cup.

He made history by scoring Nigeria’s first goal in the tournament against Bulgaria, and celebrated by holding the net with both arms and crying tears of joy.

His iconic celebration is still remembered as one of the most emotional moments in football history.

Yekini continued to play for the Super Eagles for over 14 years, participating in the 1998 World Cup as well.

He scored a total of 37 goals in 58 games for Nigeria—a record that still stands today.

Yekini passed away on May 4, 2012, at the age of 48.

He is widely regarded as one of the greatest African footballers of all time and a national hero of Nigeria.

Google Doodle honours his remarkable achievements and contributions to football on his 60th birthday.

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