Yakubu: Everton should expect cracking match against Gor Mahia-Simba
Former Nigerian international Yakubu Aiyebgeni has praised the talent being showcased at the ongoing SportPesa Super Cup, saying that the winning team will certainly give English side Everton a run for their money next month.
The former Everton striker, who retired from active football last year, is in the country as a guest of giant gaming firm SportPesa.
He spoke after watching two semi-final matches of the tournament involving Kenyan champions Gor Mahia, their Tanzanian counterparts Simba, Kakamega Homeboyz and Singida United at Afraha Stadium on Thursday.
Gor Mahia saw off Singida 2-0 to set up a date in the final with Simba who overcame Homeboyz 5-4 on post-match penalty shootout.
The tournament winners will not only pocket Sh3 million, but also travel to England for the fixture against the English Premier League at Goodison Park.
Yakubu, who captained the Super Eagles at the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, has also appealed to sponsors to come on board and support African talent.
“The games were quite tough. The four teams gave everything, they were more physical and fought for every ball and it was good since it shows more determination they want to win. There is good talent here but they need more sponsors to give these players what they want,” Yakubu told SportPesa News.
“They went for all 50-50 balls and if they had a better pitch, we could have seen better play from these guys. They are more tactical than before and it was great to watch. I enjoyed it. I think the way the four teams played here, they can give Everton a run for their money seriously.”
He also offered some advice to the young players.
“To be a professional footballer, you must show dedication and focus. You have to listen, to learn from coaches and have the right people around you, bad people will finish your football.”
Despite quitting professional football Yakubu still trains five or six times a week.
He conducted a training clinic to upcoming players from Nakuru and St Joseph’s, a task he undertook alongside Everton academy coaches Lewis Nightingale and David Ness.