Former Super Eagles, Portsmouth & Everton striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has retired from professional football after 2 decades in the game. The Yak as fondly called hung his boots today November 22nd, his 35th birthday.
“I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today,” he told SkySports.
“Firstly, I would like to thank God for the career I have had. I would like to thank the entire Nigerian Football Federation and my Nigerian national team-mates for all the memorable years I had playing for the Super Eagles. I would also like to thank all the football clubs I played for. The managers, all club staff, owners, fellow players and my dearest family and friends who immensely supported me throughout my career.
“When I started my career at Julius Berger in Nigeria all those years ago (1997) I could only have dreamt of the success that was to follow years after. Also playing in England especially helped me grow as a player and as a person so much that I am now settled here. I feel the time is right for me to now focus on the next chapter in my life.”
FACTS ABOUT THE PLAYER
- He was born in Benin, Edo State.
- He retires as Nigeria’s 3rd highest scorer.
- His nickname was ‘The Yak’
- The Yak scored 21 goals in 57 appearances for Nigeria.
- He is the first African player to get a hat-trick in the Champions League, against Greek giants Olympiakos.
- He has featured in 250 English premiership games with 96 goals.
- He played for 14 different clubs namely; Julius Berger, Gil Vicente, Maccabi Haifa, Hapoel Kfar Saba, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers, Guangzhou R&F, Al-Rayyan, Reading, Kayserispor, Coventry City
- He scored 17 Premier League goals in the year Blackburn were relegated (2011/2012)
- He is the second highest African goalscorer in Premier League history
- He represented Nigeria at four African Cup of Nations finals, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the football at the 2000 Summer Olympics.
- The Yaks started his career with Julius Berger FC in Lagos as a teenager
- Yakubu helped Portsmouth win the 2002–03 Division 1 title, scoring at a rate of one goal every two games (7 in 14 matches).
- He scored his first Premier League goal in his second match, opening a 1–1 draw versus Manchester City on 23 August 2003
- He Portsmouth’s highest ever scorer in the Premier League, with nine more than their second-highest scorer Benjani Mwaruwari.
- He finished his first season with 15 Premier League goals to his name, and 21 goals in all competitions for Everton. He achieved his highest goal tally for a single season, and also became the first Everton player since Peter Beardsley to net 20 goals in a season
Thank You for all the beautiful memories, The Yak!
Additional information from Wikipedia