Google Doodle Pays Tribute to Iconic Nigerian Footballer Rashidi Yekini

On Monday, Google Doodle celebrated the 60th birthday of Rashidi Yekini, the famed Nigerian footballer known as the Goalsfather for his goal-scoring skills.

Yekini was born on October 23, 1963, in Kaduna, Nigeria, and his path from a difficult childhood marked by homelessness and poverty to football glory is recognized.

Yekini began his career as a welder and technician before drawing the attention of scouts. In 1981, he joined his first football team, ‘UNTL FC’ in Kaduna, and then played for the Shooting Stars, where he amassed an incredible 45 goals in 53 games.

In 1983, Yekini’s outstanding goal-scoring ability earned him the title of ‘African Footballer of the Year,’ making him the first Nigerian player to receive this honor. The next year, he was instrumental in bringing the Shooting Stars to the African Champions Cup finals.

Yekini has played for football clubs in Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland, in addition to Nigeria. Notably, he won the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) as the league’s best scorer in the 1993-94 season while playing for the Portuguese club Vitória Setbal.

Yekini, a prominent character for Nigeria’s national team, the ‘Super Eagles,’ was instrumental in their qualification for the 1994 World Cup. After scoring Nigeria’s first goal, his classic celebration of gripping the net with both arms and crying tears of joy is indelible in football history.

Yekini continued his football career with the Super Eagles for over 14 years, playing in the 1998 World Cup and collecting 37 goals in 58 appearances for Nigeria, a record for the most goals scored for the country.


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