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Posthumous birthday: Rashidi Yekini clocks 56

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Tributes have poured in for late former Super Eagles striker, Rashidi Yekini, who would have clocked 56 on Wednesday.

Yekini, who is Eagles record scorer with 37 goals, died on May 4, 2012, aged 48 after being sick.

He also scored Nigeria’s first goal at the World Cup, scoring in the 3-0 win over Bulgaria in 1994.

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World football governing body FIFA, the Nigeria Football Federation and Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare are some of the people who paid tributes to the late striker on his posthumous birthday.

“Remembering Rashidi Yekini, scorer of Super Eagles’s first World Cup goal, who was born on this day in 1963. We’ll never forget his celebration at USA 1994,” FIFA wrote on Twitter, with the video of Yekini’s goal against Bulgaria.

“Remembering Rashidi Yekini: Today is the 56th posthumous birthday of one of Nigeria’s greatest footballers. I celebrate him and may his soul continue to rest in peace,” Dare also tweeted.

Ekiti State Football Association also tweeted in celebration of the late striker.

“Death can only take you away from us, but it can never take the precious memories you gave us to cheer. Former Super Eagles striker Rashidi Yekini would have been 56 years old today *Wednesday) if he was alive. Continue to rest in Peace Goals Father,” the Ekiti FA tweeted.

Encomiums also poured in from fans across social media.

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Tottenham set to sign £15m Hojbjerg

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Tottenham look set to make their first big signing of the summer transfer window.

The Telegraph reports that Southampton midfielder – and former captain – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is on the verge of joining Spurs in a deal worth £15m.

Apparently Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker-Peters – who joined the Saints on loan in January – will head in the opposite direction on a permanent basis.

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That separate arrangement is reported to be worth £12m.

Meanwhile, three European clubs have all reportedly had sizeable bids accepted for Southampton midfielder and Spurs transfer target Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

According to a report from the Daily Echo, the trio have all made offers in the region of the £25m price that Saints have put on the Denmark international’s head.

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Hojbjerg has made it clear that he prefers a move to Spurs and Saints are still locked in talks with them over a potential deal that could involve Kyle Walker-Peters going the other way.

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Pedro undergoes surgery for shoulder injury

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Chelsea’s Spanish winger Pedro has had surgery, following a shoulder injury he sustained during Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat by Arsenal.

Pedro had replaced forward Christian Pulisic in the game which Chelsea lost 2-1, after the American, who scored in the first half, pulled up with a hamstring problem.

“The surgery went well, I will be back soon. It was a pity not to win the FA Cup. Thank you all for your support,” the 33-year-old Pedro said on Instagram on Tuesday.

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Pedro, whose Chelsea deal expires at the end of the month, has reportedly agreed a move to Italian Serie A side AS Roma on a free transfer.

Reuters

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Iker Casillas retires

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Spain’s World Cup-winning captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas announced his retirement from the professional game at the age of 39 on Tuesday.

The former Real Madrid skipper had called time on his five-year spell with side Porto in July after his contract with the Portuguese club expired.

Casillas had suffered a heart attack during a training session last year and has not played any competitive football since April 2019.

“The important thing is the path you travel and the people who accompany you, not where it takes you, because that comes with work and effort alone, and I think I can say, without hesitation, that the path I have taken is the one I dreamt about #Thanks,” Casillas said on Twitter.

Casillas was given a role on Porto’s technical staff at the start of last season and was included in the first-team squad, although he was never named in a matchday squad.

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Reuters

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