Yakubu quits football on 35th birthday

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Former Nigeria international striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has called time on his football career at the age of 35.

Yakubu’s retirement comes exactly on his 35th birthday on 22 November.

He was first noted while with non-league side Okomu Oil in Nigeria in the mid 1990s before he had a stint with Julius Berger FC in 1997.

However it was at Israeli side Maccabi Haifa that Yakubu caught the attention of the world when he scored a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League against Olympiakos. He was 19 years and 306 days old, which has made him one of the few teenagers to score thrice in a single Champions League game till date.

It did not take long before Yakubu joined the big time when he moved to England to team with Portsmouth in 2003 on loan.

Yakubu’s loan move then became permanent in May of 2003 and in his first season in the English top-flight, he scored 16 goals in 37 appearances.

He went on to also play for Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn in the English Premier League, scoring 95 goals in 252 appearances and providing 26 assists.

The Nigerian has also played for Chinese side Guangzhou R&F, Kayserispor, Leicester City, Reading FC and Coventry City.

Yakubu’s international career with Nigeria began in April 2000 when he made his debut against Eritrea in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying game.

He went on to play in 57 international matches for Nigeria’s Super Eagles, scoring 21 goals.

© The Predictor

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