His journey to stardom was one filled with challenges and poverty, as a young Yekini worked as an iron bender and mechanic to make money.
The doodle began with a biography of the Kaduna-born striker: “Today’s Doodle celebrates iconic Nigerian footballer Rashidi Yekini, an accomplished forward nicknamed the “Goalsfather” for his ability to sneak shots by the keeper. On this day in 1963, he was born in Kaduna, Nigeria.”
He started his career in front of scouts, and in 1981, he joined his first club, UNTL FC, in Kaduna, marking the beginning of a remarkable career. Yekini also joined the Shooting Stars, scoring 45 goals in 53 games.
His exploits took him beyond the continent’s shores playing for Victoria Setubal, Olympicos, Sporting Gijon, and Zurich, before returning to the country to play for Julius Berger and Gateway United.
Yekini remains indelible in the hearts of Nigerians, as he scored Nigeria’s first-ever goal at the FIFA World Cup in the 3-0 win over Bulgaria in 1994. Yekini clutched the net in ecstasy.
He scored 37 goals and remains Nigeria’s all-time top scorer. He was also voted African Footballer of the Year in 1993.
Yekini died on May 4, 2012, at the age of 48.