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Rashidi Yekini
Star footballer

The lanky striker was the highest goal scorer in Nigeria’s national soccer team history.
The Kwara State-born footballer was the first Nigerian to win the prestigious African Player of the Year award.
He was also the scorer of Nigeria’s first goal in the 1994 FIFA World Cup, netting the opening goal in the country’s victory over Bulgaria.

Yekini was born in Kaduna on October 24, 1963, to Yoruba parents from Kwara State and started as a trainee welder in the city. His love for football lured him away from the workshop to the field, where he endeared himself to scouts because of his goal-scoring instincts.


Yekini started his football career with UNTL, Kaduna, in 1981. Between 1981 and 1982, he scored 12 goals in 30 appearances.
He joined the IICC Shooting Stars (now 3SC) of Ibadan in 1982 and scored 45 goals in 53 games before he left the club for Abiola Babes in 1984.
With Abiola Babes, Yekini scored 80 goals in 100 appearances between 1984 and 1987.
He joined African Sports of Ivory Coast in 1987 and contributed 105 goals in 113 appearances between 1987 and 1990.
He moved to Europe in 1990 to play for the Portuguese Division 1 side, Vitoria Setubal. Between 1990 and 1994, Yekini scored 91 goals in 114 appearances. He also won the Golden Boot in his last season with Vitoria Setubal.
He joined the Greek club Olympiacos after the 1994 World Cup, scoring only two goals in four appearances between 1994 and 1995.
Yekini switched to the Spanish side, Sporting Gijon, in the summer of 1995 and, in his only season there, contributed three goals in 14 appearances before returning to Vitoria Setubal on loan.
During his second time at Vitoria Setubal, he scored three goals in 14 appearances before moving to FC Zurich, Switzerland, where he scored 14 goals in 28 appearances between 1997 and 1998.