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Joseph Yobo bows out in ‘style’

Defender Joseph Yobo has officially quit active football following his testimonial game played at the Adokie Amesiemake Stadium in Port Harcourt on Friday.

Top African football stars like Samuel Eto, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, Nwankwo Kanu, Sulley Muntari, Laryea Kingston, Stephen Appiah, Dele Aiyenugba, Lomana Lualua, Mutiu Adepoju, Vincent Enyeama, Emmanuel Emenike and Samson Siasia among others were present.

Team Nigeria defeated Team World 5-4 in a much friendly encounter.

Okocha thrilled the sizeable number of fans at the stadium with his dribbles and skills that brought back the memory of the former Bolton Captain, and left the spectators wishing for his comeback to the Super Eagles.

Eto too was a delight to watch as he showcased brilliance. He made a mess of Enyeama to score a beautiful goal that saw the goalkeeper chase him around, only for them to hug each other in laughter.

A fulfilled Yobo said after the game that he was grateful to have reached such a milestone in his football career – playing in six Africa Cup of Nations and three FIFA World Cups.

He has also played for Marseille, Everton, Fenerbahce and Norwich.

He was the first signing of David Moyes at Everton in 2003, little wonder the manager was physically present in Port Harcourt.

Yobo became one of the most consistent players in the Everton squad, and was one of only seven players in the entire league to play every minute of every game throughout the 2006–07 season; his teammate Joleon Lescott also being an ever-present throughout the season.

For the UEFA Cup match against Larissa of Greece on 25 October 2007, Yobo was named as captain in the absence of Phil Neville and thus became the first African to captain the club. On 6 May 2009, Yobo scored his first goal of the season against West Ham United to seal a 3–1 win.

Yobo made 101 appearances for the Super Eagles after his debut against Zambia in a 2002 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 24 March 2001.

His testimonial/centenary was however poorly organized as some invited players fed themselves and were poorly transported to and from the stadium.

The kickoff was delayed for almost two hours, and the players only file out to the pitch when the governor of Rivers State Nyesome Wike, who has been seated for some time, threatened to leave if the game doesn’t kickoff by 6pm.

Hundreds of fans encroached the pitch at half time, a result of poor security arrangement.

Yobo will now shift attention to other businesses after football, perhaps getting a FIFA coaching license for the future, nobody knows.

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