Retired Nigeria international striker Yakubu Ayegbeni said he doesn’t regret his failure to win a title in England.
Ayegbeni’s impressive goals coring performances at Maccabi Haifa attracted the attention of English team Portsmouth – a club he helped secure Premier League promotion.
After two seasons at Fratton Park, he teamed up with then English top-flight outfit Middlesbrough for a £7.5 million record fee.
There, he was close to winning silverware as Boro reached the final of the 2006 UEFA Cup – where they bowed 4-0 to eventual winners Sevilla at Eindhoven’s Philips Stadium.
Before continuing his professional career in China, Turkey and Qatar, ‘the Yak’ represented Everton, Leicester City and Blackburn, however, he was unable to break the jinx. Despite his return to English football to feature for Reading and Coventry City, the story stayed unchanged for Africa’s third-highest goal scorer in Premier League history.
Reflecting on his time in England that spanned over 11 years, the 37-year-old told Goal: “No regrets, I tried my best and I gave everything. I helped Middlesbrough to the UEFA Cup final where we lost.
“I didn’t win any trophy in England but when I was at Maccabi Haifa, I won the league title and the Israeli Cup.”
“I’m lucky to have won two titles in my career but for missing out on titles in England, I do not have any regrets over that.
“I had a wonderful career and enjoyed it scoring goals, playing along with great players and sharing dressing rooms with them. I had a great career.”
Aside from being a productive striker, the Nigerian also played alongside some of the best at that time.
Ayegbeni, who was named 2006 Boro Player of the Season revealed some of his best teammates.
“I had a great time at Portsmouth, Teddy Sheringham was there and I tapped from his experience. Lomana Tresor Lua Lua was unbelievable as well, we had a great connection,” he noted.