Nigeria football was again thrown into mourning with news of the death of former Eagles star Yisa Sofoluwe.
Sofoluwe passed on, Tuesday night, he had been in coma for five days and was diagnosed with “mild cerebral atrophy” according to sources.
The former Eagles defender, 53, was a member of teh 1984 and 1988 Africa Cup of Nations squads.
His former teammates and associates described Sofoluwe as an exemplary man off the pitch and “one of the most intelligent” on it.
Reacting to news of the Sofoluwe’s death, former teammate, Austin Eguavoen revealed they shared a very close relationship and described the loss as deep and personal.
“I still cannot understand or comprehend, but what can I say. Honestly I am short of words, because we were very close,” Eguavoen said on Brila FM.
“We had good times in the National team, at some point he was trying to lure me to Abiola Babes then. Our families are close, when I was in Belgium I was instrumental to helping him get a deal with a club in the lower division.”
He described the personality of the late Eagles defender as meek and his ability on the pitch as captivating.
“Easy going always fun to be with, soft spoken and when you talk about football, Yisa Sofoluwe was one of the most skillful defenders we had.
“He wasn’t the most physical but he had a football brain and that was why he was able to play as right back and left for every Coach who was appointed at the time.
“Late Ernest Okonkwo named him “defence minister”, because of is qualities; when Ernest Okonkwo to give you a name then you should know that player has some real quality.
“It’s very very sad.”
“I will remember him as a very stand up guy, Professional and neat in his appearance,” Eguavoen concluded.