AIYEGBENI QUITS PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL

Former Nigeria international Yakubu Aiyegbeni has announced his retirement from professional football.

Aiyegbeni, 35, spent nine years in English football – between january 2003 to June 2012 – playing for Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City and finally, Blackburn, scoring 114 times in 293 league appearances.

He caught the attention of many while playing for Israeli club Maccabi Haifa in the Uefa Champions League in 2002.

The big striker joined Portsmouth in the English second tier on loan – and the move was made permanent following the club’s promotion to the Premier League.

In June 2012, Ayegbeni ended his stay in English football to sign for the Chinese club Guangzhou on a three-year contract.

He, however, returned to European country for short spells at Reading in 2015 and then, Coventry City in February this year.

After finishing his one-yeal deal with Super Lig side Kayserispor in 2016, Aiyegbeni signed a contract at Coventry in February until the end of the season.

The striker’s spell at the club was short-lived, though. The return of Mark Robins to the club as manager saw the forward being released in April, after three substitute appearances.

The former Maccabi Haifa player, nicknamed The Yak, scored 21 goals in 57 games for his country.

He’s Nigeria’s record scorer in the Premier League with 96 goals, which is just five fewer than Didier Drogba, the top African scorer in the Premier League era.

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