Google Doodle Honors Rashidi Yekini’s 60th birthday as a legendary Nigerian Goal-Scorer.
Born in Kaduna, Nigeria, on October 23, 1963, Yekini’s journey from adversity to football stardom is celebrated.
Yekini, the late Super Eagles striker, was the first Nigerian to win the African Player of the Year award, thanks to his explosive goalscoring form for club and country.
With 37 goals, Yekini holds the record as Nigeria’s top scorer. Many believe this achievement will stand forever, making him the leading scorer in Super Eagles history.
Yekini, driven by his passion for football, worked as a welder and mechanic before catching the eye of scouts. Yekini started at ‘UNTL FC’ in Kaduna in 1981, then moved to Shooting Stars, scoring 45 goals in 53 games.
In 1983, Yekini’s exceptional goal-scoring abilities earned him the title of ‘African Footballer of the Year,’ making him the first Nigerian player to achieve this honour. The following year, he played a pivotal role in leading the Shooting Stars to the finals of the African Champions Cup.
Beyond Nigeria, Yekini played for various football clubs in Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Greece, Portugal, and Switzerland. He won the Bola de Prata in 1993-94 as the top scorer in the league with Vitória Setúbal.6
Yekini was pivotal for Nigeria’s ‘Super Eagles,’ helping them qualify for the 1994 World Cup. He etched a moment in football history by clutching the net in tears after scoring Nigeria’s first goal.
Over 14 years, a player for the Super Eagles scored 37 goals in 58 games, establishing a record for Nigeria.. He also participated in the 1998 World Cup.
The top scorer with five goals in the 1994 AFCON won both Nigeria’s victory and the competition’s best player award. Additionally, the Federal Government recognized this achievement by honoring him with the MON award.
Reportedly kidnapped before his passing, the exact cause of death for Yekini remains unclear even after ten years.