Aiyegbeni’s Champions League Hat-trick Echoes

Former Super Eagles striker, Yakubu Aiyegbeni on Tuesday received a golden mention in the UEFA Champions League folklore, with pundits recounting his historic hat-trick with Maccabi Haifa of Israel.

Though it was his first base outside Nigeria, ‘The Yak Attack’ was in breathtaking form for Maccabi against top teams like Manchester United, against which he scored a wonder goal.

While record books show that fellow-former Super Eagles striker, Daniel Amokachi got the first goal upon the renaming of the former European Cup of Champion Clubs as the UEFA Champions League, Yakubu also has his place in the competition’s history book.

A group of historians tagged African Football Classics recalled that ‘Yak’ netted the first hat-trick by an African players in the elite clubs’ money-spinning European contest on September 24, 2002.

It came against Olympiakos of Greece, on a visit to Maccabi, as ‘Yaku-Bull’ first struck in a penalty in the 27th minute, then followed-up with sizzlers in the 60th and 86th to help his side to a 3-0 win at GSP Stadium.

The citation for Yak read:  “This was the first hat trick by an African player in the @ChampionsLeague @CalvinEmeka @OgaNlaMedia.”


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