Yisa Sofoluwe was a Nigerian professional footballer who played as a defender.
He won 40 caps and scored one goal for his country, and was their regular left back between 1983 and 1988, playing at the 1984 and 1988 African Nations Cups.He was born on 28 December 1967.
During his playing days, he was nicknamed ‘Dean of Defence’.
When you hear/read the nickname ‘Dean of Defence’ as Yisa Sofoluwe was known as you might start to think he was like Vidic/Ramos kind. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Sofoluwe was as elegant and as silky as it was possible to be at full back.
He was just so good really.
He robbed wingers of the ball and usually nutmegs them so he can glide forward.
He gatecrashed into Nigeria’s first participants at a FIFA tournament, the ’83 Flying Eagles. Played LB then (ousting Amaechi Oti) and also at AFCON ’84 with Chief Onigbinde where Nigeria made the final.
Growing up and watching the Green Eagles at the time it was so stark, the contrast at our FB positions: Sofoluwe on the right, Omokaro on the left. The latter, a hard rock on which wingers crashed and broke. ShowFo on the other side made a show of his wingers.
Along with Chibuzor Ehilegbu, Sofoluwe in 1983 played for both the Flying and Green Eagles 4 days apart. They played in Lagos for the F/Eagles Vs CIV, flew to Kaduna to play an Olympic qualifier Vs Ghana. Came back to Lagos to play the Shagari Cup final Vs Ghana.
He died February 9th 2021, at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital.
Rest In Peace, Yisa ‘Dean of Defence’ Sofoluwe. Thank you for your services to your country.
Watch video of him in Green Eagles shirt below:
Source: Calvin Emeka/ACL SPORTS
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