Rashidi Yekini possessed a rare combination of strength, swiftness, and skill

Rashidi Yekini possessed a rare combination of strength, swiftness, and skill

Sunday, May 7, 2023 4:00 pm

Rashidi Yekini

By Folorunso Fatai Adisa
Rashidi Yekini was more than just a footballer, he was a force to be reckoned with. Known as “The Gazelle,” Yekini possessed a rare combination of strength, swiftness, and skill that made him a formidable opponent on the field. His long legs, arms, and wide torso gave him a powerful and commanding presence on the pitch. I can recall how I always tease his beautiful daughter who was my course-mate during my undergraduate days in the Department of English UNILORIN that his father was “a ball” yet she couldn’t kick a stone
Opponents who faced Yekini knew that allowing him to gain momentum was a fatal mistake. His explosive speed resembled that of a huge jetliner, requiring a lengthy runway to take off. Thus, the plan was always to shorten that imaginary runway and deny him the chance to take flight. However, even with this strategy, Yekini still managed to leave his mark on the game.
Yekini’s power and accuracy on the ball were unmatched, and he possessed a unique ability to position himself precisely for scoring opportunities. He was a player who thrived on chemistry, and his partnership with Mutiu Adepoju was a testament to this.
However, despite his undeniable talent, Yekini faced opposition from those who sought to sabotage his success. In the 1994 USA World Cup, he spoke out about the collective hypocrisy that sought to keep him from scoring, saying, “Some people are well bent on seeing me out of this competition because they deliberately refused to give me the necessary pass for the goal.”
Yet, even with these obstacles, Yekini continued to shine like a bright star in the sky on a dark night. He played powerfully like the immortal comic book character ‘Hot Shot’ Hamish Balfour of the Roy Of The Rovers soccer comic strip.
On Thursday, 4 May, we remember the 11th year since his passing. We honor the legacy of Rashidi Yekini, our best sharpshooter in the round leather game. May he continue to rest in peace, and his memory inspire generations to come.
*Folorunso Fatai-Adisa writes from the UK

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