Yakubu Aiyegbeni announced his retirement from playing football on Wednesday, at the age of 35.
‘The Yak’ began his career at Julius Berger in 1996 before joining Maccabi Haifa after completing his loan move from Gil Vicente.
He shot into limelight in the 2002–03 season – scoring seven goals in eight European Cup appearances including a hat-trick against Olympiakos and a penalty in the 3–0 win over Manchester United.
His 21 goals in 57 appearances for the Nigerian national team is the third highest by any Super Eagles player.
“I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today,” Aiyegbeni told Sky Sports News.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni as you retire on your 35th birthday, you will never be forgotten. We love you now despite the fact that we hated you then 😭😪😉pic.twitter.com/wpgNU8l5XT
— I do the do (@hotmindset) November 22, 2017
“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.”