Yekini’s journey to football stardom was not without its challenges. He faced poverty and homelessness early in life, Footballrover reports
He worked as a mechanic and welder to support himself, but his love for football never wavered.
He started playing in front of scouts and eventually joined his first football club, UNTL FC, in Kaduna in 1981.
Yekini’s brilliance was evident while he was a part of the Shooting Stars, where he scored an astonishing 45 goals in 53 contests.
He was the first Nigerian player to win the prestigious African Footballer of the Year award in 1983 thanks to his excellent goal-scoring abilities.
He assisted the Shooting Stars in advancing to the African Champions Cup finals the following year.
Yekini’s football career extended beyond Nigeria, playing for clubs in Spain, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Tunisia, Switzerland, and Greece.
He won the Bola de Prata (Silver Ball) while at Vitória Setbal in Portugal for leading the league in scoring during the 1993–1994 campaign.
Yekini was essential in the Super Eagles’ 1994 World Cup qualification as Nigeria’s national squad.
In a memorable match against Bulgaria on June 21st, Yekini scored the game’s opening goal, marking Nigeria’s first-ever World Cup goal.
His iconic celebration, running into the net and clutching it with both arms while cheering and crying tears of joy, is etched in football history and inspired today’s Doodle artwork.
Yekini continued to represent the Super Eagles for over 14 years, including another World Cup appearance in 1998.
With 37 goals in 58 appearances for Nigeria, he holds the record for most goals scored for the country.
Photo Credit: Google