Nigeria Great Yakubu Aiyegbeni Retires from Football
Former Nigerian international, Yakubu Aiyegbeni has announced his immediate retirement from playing football on Wednesday, as he celebrates his 35th birthday.
Aiyegbeni, who famously featured for Everton and Portsmouth in the Premier League, thanked former teammates and the Nigerian football family for a long and successful career.
“I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today,” Aiyegbeni told Sky Sports News.
“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.”
Nicknamed the Yak for his ultra physical style, Aiyegbeni last featured for Coventry City in the English lower leagues, but saw his contract terminated after only three games due to fitness concerns.
The former Julius Berger striker remains the third highest scoring African in Premier League history, behind Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba and Togo’s Emmanuel Adebayor.
He burst to the limelight at the Sidney 2000 Olympics, and went on to represent Nigeria 57 times, scoring 21 goals.
The Yak last featured for the Super Eagles at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.