The Yak retires, thanks NFF Nigerians, clubs
The Yak as he was popularly known confirmed the decision on Wednesday thus drawing the curtain on a 20-year career that saw him play for a record 14 clubs including loan deals. He made about 57 appearances for the national team scoring 21 goals in the bargain. In the Premier league where he was at a time a must play and a must score, he made 250 appearances , scoring 96 goals. The highest of such goals was scored for Portsmouth where he scored 29 goals,25 for Middlesborough and 25 for Everton among others.
“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.”
Aiyegbeni who was also impressive in his mission in Chinese Super league where he scored 24 goals for Guangzhou R&F in
43 appearances, struggled to get back into his super form when he attempted to bounce back for Coventry city early in the year.
Known for his physical play Aiyegbeni in 2008 married Yvonne Lameen Ikhana, the daughter of former Nigerian international footballer Kadiri Ikhana, who is also the father-in-law to former Nigerian international footballer Patrick Ovie. Yakubu and Ikhana have 2 daughters named Kayla and Katriel