Why Vincent Enyeama Should Be Crowned - CAF AFRICAN FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR 2014

Vincent Enyeama, Lille first choice goal keeper and the captain of Nigeria national team have been in splendid form since 2013. He was named as one of the nominees for CAF Africa Footballer of the Year Award, along side Yaya Toure, Gervinho, Ahmed Musa…

CAF Award is the most prestigious for African footballers and you can imagine how it feels to be nominated. Indeed, for the past 5 years or so, the award had been hovering around Cote d’Ivoire players. Yaya Toure won it last year and many analysts are of the view that it would take a little more for any other African player to take away the crown from him, not in the 2014 edition. Toure was recently nominated for Ballon d’Or, ranking him among the world’s best.

Wait a minute, have you looked at the records. Enyeama achievements from last year till now, may dwarf that of Toure. Enyeama led Super Eagles of Nigeria to win African Cup of Nations in 2013 and was named as the best goal keeper for the tournament.

He was named the best player for the French league1 for August, September and October 2013. The 32-year-old Nigerian kept 11 consecutive clean sheets in Ligue 1 matches during the first half of the 2013-14 season. He achieved 21 shut-outs last term - more than any other goalkeeper in the top five European leagues. He is the first Nigerian to win the Marc-Vivien Foe prize in France.

Enyeama performance at the 2014 FIFA World cup in Brazil was something extraordinary. He led Nigeria team to the 2nd round of the mundial. He was the only African player listed in FIFA –XI after the first round stats. He made a number of key saves in four matches - and he was named the fourth best goalkeeper at the tournament.

These were tournaments Yaya Toure and Gervinho participated, but were not as outstanding enough to be included in the list.

Enyeama may not be playing for teams like Manchester City, Roma or PSG, where his outstanding form could have been better show cased in tournaments like UEFA Champions league; yet he has become the bride of many English clubs – Liverpool, Arsenal, Sunderland, Stroke City and Newcastle – have all been  on the trail of this Nigerian star.

Enyeama isn’t a flash in pan. He is a kind of player that is always on top of his game. He led Enyimba FC of Aba, to win CAF Champions League back to back in 2003 and 2004.

He claimed the Israeli league and two cups with Hapoel Tel Aviv with some remarkable statistic that Enyeama scored 23 goals during his time at the Israeli giants, dispatching penalties and free-kicks He was named the best player in the Isreal league in 2006 and 2007.

Enyeama has been the first choice goal keeper in Super Eagles for the past 10 years. He has been such a consistent player. Enyeama truly deserves the award and I think this is the set time to crown him Africa’s best. 

25 – Man Shortlist for CAF African Footballer of the Year 2014

The 25-man shortlist include Ghana duo of Asamoah Gyan and Kwadwo Asamoah, Emmanuel Adebayor of Togo, Senegalese pair of Sadio Mane and Dame N'doye as well as Cameroon trio Vincent Aboubakar, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Stephane Mbia.

Apart from Yaya Toure, Cote d’Ivoire also have Wilfred Bony and Yao Kouassi Gervais, also known as Gervinho, among the shortlist.

Algeria, has four players in the shortlist. Islam Slimani, Rais M’Bolhi, Sofiane Feghouli and Yacine Brahimi are the four Algerians nominated.

Tunisia has two players named among the 25 nominees. They are Fakhreddine Ben Youssef and Ferdjani Sassi.

Others shortlisted are Thulani Serero of South Africa, Yannick Bolasie of DR Congo, Seydou Keita of Mali, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Gabon and Mohamed El Neny of Egypt.

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