Something You May Not Know About Vincent Enyeama

 He may be coming to the world as a new revelation; Vincent Enyeama has now gone 945 minutes in 10 matches without conceding a goal for his club Lille OSC in French Ligue1. He is closing on the record of 1,176 minutes held by Gaetan Huard during the 1990 – 93 French Ligue 1 season with Bordeaux and the world is watching with wrapped attention. But little did they know that this Nigerian goal keeper has ball magnet on his gloves.

Enyeama may not cut such reputation of goalkeepers like Buffon, Ike Castillas, Edward Van da sar or even back in Nigeria, the likes of Emmanuel Okala, Best Ogedegbe, or Peter Rufai, but indeed, he is in the rank of the world bests.

There’s something about Enyeama the world may not yet know – he’s a born champion and a great match winner. He is the only goalkeeper in the world that has won the player of the year award in every league he has participated across the world. He won Nigeria footballer of the year in 2004; Israel footballer of the year in 2009 and he has already been voted player of the month of October in French Ligue 1.

Enyeama is the only first choice goal keeper in Nigeria that has won CAF Champions league. He was in goal most of the time for Enyimba FC of Aba, during their Africa conquest in 2003 – 2004, when the team won Caf Champion league back to back.

 Enyeama won Nigeria Premier league three times with Enyimba in 2003, 2004, and 2006. He also won the Israelis’ top flight league three times with two different clubs – Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2009, 2010 and Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2012. He has also won the Israelis’ state cup twice in 2010 and 2011.

Enyeama has been in super form for country and club this year 2013. Often playing as a stand in captain for Joseph Yobo, Enyeama led Super Eagles of Nigeria to become current African champions after the team won African cup of Nations (AFCON) in February 2013. He also helped his country to qualify for 2014 FIFA world cup which is slated for Brazil in June next year.

Before now, Enyeama has justified claims as one of the best shot-stoppers in football at the moment, with a defiant display to restrict Argentina to a 1 – 0 win in their Group B, 2010 FIFA world cup match. Enyeama made six saves, four of them from Lionel Messi and was the major reason for Nigeria coming so close to almost pitching a draw against the two times world champions. Despite the loss, he was named man of the match and world player of the week by

Argentine coach then, Diego Maradona, praised him as the reason Leo Messi wasn’t able to score a goal in that match.

Recently, in an international friendly match with the Azzurris of Italy in Craven Cottage stadium London, Enyeama came in to block the goal post after his compatriot, Austin Ejide, conceded two goals in the 2 -2 draw with the four times world champions.

Enyeama is currently nominated for African player of the year award coming up in January 2014.

 Ike Shorumu, goal keeper trainer in the Nigeria national team said, “Nigeria is blessed with great goalkeepers. It’s unfortunate that such keeper like Austin Ejide came at the time of Vincent Enyeama. These two guys are good.” “For instance, it is difficult to score Enyeama a sitter or from a long range shot. The few balls that can beat him may be close range deflections or head flicks and you can’t blame him for that.” Shorumu explained.

Lille OSC, head coach, Renes Girard said, “Vincent has such incredible sharp vision and a reflex you could rarely find in most goalkeepers and that’s what stands him out among the lots.”

Perhaps, Enyeama should be one of those maverick goalkeepers you should watch out for in 2014 FIFA world cup.

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