Fanny Amun, a former Super Eagles Assistant Coach at the France `98 World Cup, has described Yakubu Aiyegbeni as a player who had paid his dues in domestic and international football.
Amun spoke in Lagos against the backdrop of Aiyegbeni’s retirement on Wednesday in London after he turned 35.
Shortly after he announced his retirement, the former Super Eagles striker thanked all who had played one role or the other in his career.
“I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today,’’ Yakubu told Sky Sports on Wednesday in London.
“Thank you for the memories,’’ he said.
Aiyegbeni played for Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers and Everton FC all of England and made 250 Premier League appearances as well as scored 96 goals in a career spanning 20 years.
He started his professional career in the Nigerian league in 1997/1998 season when he plied his trade with Julius Berger FC of Lagos (now defunct).
He also played in Israel with Macabi Haifa FC before moving to Europe in 2003.
The “Yak’’ as he was fondly called is the 3rd best all-time scorer of the senior national team 21 goals.
He featured three times for fourth-tier side Coventry City this year before being released by the club.
The former assistant coach of the Super Eagles added that Aiyegbeni would be remembered for his selfless performance for the national teams.
“Aiyegbeni is still young but the fact remains that he has paid his dues as a club player and a national team player who has represented Nigeria at the highest level of football.
“He was most times noted for his response to national duties and did so well.
“I think he must have prepared well for life after retirement because he is still young and not be in the ranks of those claiming that Nigeria has not done anything for them.
“Nigeria has done everything for them at least they have the opportunity of wearing the national jersey which others did not have, they need to prepare well for the future and not wait on Nigeria,’’ he said.
Similarly, a former international Mutiu Adepoju, said that Aiyegbeni would be remembered for his contributions to the national teams during his playing days, adding that he was dedicated.
“Most of us will remember him for his contributions to the national team as a striker who scored many goals.
“He is one of the few dedicated players around ready for call-up and wearing the national colours.
“He has done well, he is a good player and very well respected; I wish him well,’’ he said.