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International football

Former Nigeria striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni announces retirement

The striker, who spent most of his career in England and was last at Coventry, has retired from football on his 35th birthday.

Former Nigeria striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni announces retirement

Former Super Eagles striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has announced his retirement on his 35th birthday after two decades of playing football.

Yakubu was without a club since being sacked by Coventry City in April. The Nigerian only played a total of 69 minutes for The Sky Blues.

The striker spent most of his career playing in England, for the likes of Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers and Reading.

He made 250 appearances in the Premier League, scoring a total of 96 goals.

“Thank God for the career I have had”

On Wednesday, Yakubu told SkySports that he is to retire form football. "I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today," he told SkySports 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 [in 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."

A remarkable career

The former Super Eagles striker is Africa’s third-highest goal scorer in Premier League history, only behind Didier Drogba, with 104 goals, and Emmanuel Adebayor, with 97.

Yakubu is also 37th in the all-time scoring chart of the Premier League.

The ‘Yak’ is also the third highest scorer in the history of the Nigeria national football team with 21 goals.

He played for the Super Eagles at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and at the 2000 Summer Olympics, as well as on four African Cup of Nations.

The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) congratulated Yakubu on his 35th birthday and praised his remarkable career as a striker.