One of Nigeria’s greatest footballers was honored on social media recently. Rashidi Yekini passed on four years ago on May 2nd 2012 after a protracted illness. The prolific striker reputed to have scored Nigeria’s first ever World Cup goal in a 3-0 win over Bulgaria in 1994 was a native of Kwara State, but was born in Kaduna State.
Rashidi Yekini started his footballing career in the Nigerian League with Kaduna United, moved on to Shooting Stars and then Abiola Babes, before taking his career to the international stage. He was the highest goal scorer for Nigeria in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and he scored a total of 37 goals for the Super Eagles.
Yekini was also the first Nigerian to be voted the African Footballer of the Year in 1993.
A largely unsung hero and a legend of Nigerian football, Rashidi Yekini was remembered by Nigerians on various social media platforms with touching posts, inspiring pictures and memories, with the hashtag #WeRememberYekini
Former Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh also issued a statement honoring the late legend on Twitter saying;
“4 years ago today, we lost Rashidi Yekini Nigeria’s Legendary striker. Let’s mourn but also celebrate his legacy. God bless his soul.”
Interestingly, this tweet caused a stir and got him lambasted by Nigerians on twitter.
Oliseh who happened to be the Super Eagle’s team captain during Yekini’s days was not spared sharp criticism and allegations of ganging up against the striker and causing his death.
See some of the racy tweets below:
@Jameskay tweeted “@SundayOOliseh u helped in his death, why didnt you help him while he was ill and why did you gang up against him in USA94? u shld go to jail.”
@Dotlankeem tweeted “@SundayOOliseh when u these same #Mafia ended his Career abruptly? U are now Praise-praying him after he can’t need it again! Shame! #Mafians”
Rashidi Yekini played alongside other football icons like Daniel Amokachi, Motiu Adepoju, Ike Shorunmu and Kanu Nwankwo. May his soul be forever remembered. We pray Nigeria gets another prolific striker like Rashidi Yekini in the near future.