Bayelsa Times

Playing alongside Yekini was big achievement for me, says Mutiu Adepoju

News Sports
Former Super Eagles midfielder, Mutiu Adepoju says he considers it an achievement sharing the pitch with the late Rashidi Yekini.
Adepoju made this remark in a post on his twitter handle as he joined hundreds across the world to remember 10 years of Yekini’s demise.
The former Super Eagles midfielder who played most of his club football in Spain with teams like Racing Santander and Real Sociedad submitted that the inability to break most of Yekini’s records is a pointer to his legendary status.
Yekini, who is adjudged as one of Africa’s greatest strikers ever, died on May 4, 2012, aged just 48.
As the world continues to remember and pay tributes to the ‘goals father’, some of the promises made to immortalise him remain unfulfilled.
Before his death, Yekini spent at least two decades of his life creating amazing records in the round leather game.
Some of those records remain unbroken and have naturally endeared the late gangling striker to the hearts of tens of millions of fans all over Nigeria and beyond.
Among other feats, Yekini scored Nigeria’s first-ever goal at the FIFA World Cup and he remains the country’s leading goalscorer of all time despite the array of stars that have come before and after him.
Adepoju and Yekini were teammates in the golden era of Nigerian football when the Super Eagles not only on the continent but also ruffled feathers on the world stage.
Both players were part of the 1994 and 1998 World Cup campaigns.
In a tribute shared on his twitter page, Adepoju said he was privileged to have played along with Yekini while he also reeled out qualities that made the late striker more than just a teammate.
He wrote: “Baba Yekini, today marks the 10th year that you left us behind. Of course, you are no more but your legacy will continue to reign in our hearts forever. #Legend #Immortality
“I will write it again here; it was a great honour playing with you – which I consider a big achievement on its own. You gave your 100 per cent always.
“I will never forget you; Nigerians will never forget you. Always in our hearts. Keep resting, king. Your class remains unmatched!
“Your greatness is so enormous that the rest of the world still reminisces over your exploits in the beautiful game.
“It was never a dull moment with you in camp as everyone’s ribs would be cracked at your jokes. You were never a contentious person and you saw everyone as your brother not minding their backgrounds.”
Apart from Adepoju, the Nigeria Football Federation and the World football governing body, FIFA, all paid tributes to Yekini who played for clubs in at least six other countries outside Nigeria.
Among other places, Yekini featured for Portugal’s Vitória Setúbal, Spain’s Sporting Gijon, and Switzerland’s FC Zurich where he remains a legend to date.

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