Former Super Eagles striker Barnabas Imenger (Snr) has joined other football stakeholders to pay tributes to Nigerian footballing legend Rashidi Yekini.
Yekini who would have been celebrating his 54th birthday on Monday October 23, 2017 died in May 2012 following an illness at the age of 48.
Imenger was a peripheral part of Nigeria’s senior national team in the mid-90s, mostly in the shadow of Yekini but played one game at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Saudi Arabia in 1995.
“Rashidi Yekini was a talent, especially in the art of goalscoring. He perfected that art. I call him a Nationalist because football is a unifying factor,” Immenger told www.aclsports.com
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“Yekini was a focused person, I saw that whatever he wanted, he was focused to it, and he was getting it. He was highly committed and less controversial,” he added.
Many retired footballers have spoken of their days of adoring heroes and taking care of their kits while waiting for breakthrough, Immenger was none different.
“I was washing Yekini’s jerseys and I was carrying his boots back then as a home based player when he was playing in Portugal. And I’m proud about it.
“To me, he has always been a hero. He was my hero because growing up as a young man, I see him on Television and I always pray to be like this man. And if not that he was a professional (laughs), I would have been the authentic Number 9 for Nigeria,” he added.
Imenger, whose son Nanen is a professional footballer further relived his experience of staying around Yekini in the national team and hopes the government show him more honour even in death.
“It was a good lesson working under him and playing side by side with him.
“I played a couple of matches with him, about five matches and I must say it was wonderful.
“Summarily, Rashidi Yekini was a highly committed and professional. He knew what he wanted, went for it and got it. He unified Nigerians through the art of goalscoring, which is what we need in this country.”
“I expect the government and I’m advising the government now to honour him more than they have done,” he concluded.