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Former Nigeria striker Yakubu calls it a day

Former Nigeria international Yakubu Aiyegbeni has announced his retirement from football.

The 35-year-old, who spent a decade playing in England for the likes of Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, Leicester City, Blackburn Rovers and Reading, has been without a club since leaving Coventry City after just three games in April.

"I would like to officially announce my retirement from professional football today," he told SkySports.

"Firstly, I would like to thank God for the career I have had. I would like to thank the entire Nigerian Football Federation and my Nigerian national team-mates for all the memorable years I had playing for the Super Eagles.

"I would also like to thank all the football clubs I played for. The managers, all club staff, owners, fellow players and my dearest family and friends who immensely supported me throughout my career.

"When I started my career at Julius Berger in Nigeria all those years ago (1997) I could only have dreamt of the success that was to follow years after.

"Also playing in England especially helped me grow as a player and as a person so much that I am now settled here. I feel the time is right for me to now focus on the next chapter in my life."

Yakubu played over 50 games for Nigeria's Super Eagles, with his debut coming in a 4-0 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win against Eritrea.

He featured at the 2000 Olympics, in four Afcons, and at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, having been overlooked for the tournament in Korea/Japan eight years earlier.

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