Aiyegbeni: how NFF, Everton and fans celebrate his birthday

Birthday

Birthday wishes have poured in for the former Nigeria international from the national football governing body and his appreciative supporters

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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Everton and fans have taken to social media to celebrate with Yakubu Aiyegbeni on his birthday.   

The centre-forward, who is also known as ‘the Yak’, was born in Benin City on November 22, 1982, and is celebrating his 38th birthday.

Aiyegbeni enjoyed success with club and country during his professional career, which spanned over two decades.

The attacker has been sent heartfelt messages by the Nigeria football governing body and the Toffees, while the forward’s supporters have also wished him well as he reaches a new age.

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Aiyegbemi made 57 appearances for the Super Eagles and scored a number of amazing goals during his time with the national team.

The attacker helped the West Africans finish third at three Africa Cup of Nations outings, in 2002, 2004 and 2010.

Aiyegbemi also featured at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he missed an open goal from three yards against South Korea in the last group game.

Although he later scored a penalty in the encounter it was not enough to help Nigeria advance in the global tournament.

The forward remains the third-highest all-time goalscorer for the Super Eagles with 21 strikes to his credit.

Aiyegbeni started his career with Gateway in 1994 and also played for Nigeria Premier League side Julius Berger, before moving abroad to continue his development.

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 On leaving Nigeria, he joined Maccabi Haifa and won two Israeli Premier League titles with the club before he moved to England to team up with Portsmouth.

He became an instant hit in the English Premier League, where he starred for Middlesbrough, Everton and Blackburn Rovers.

Aiyegbeni last featured for Coventry City before his retirement from active professional football in November 2017.