It is practical wisdom for handlers of the national team, Super Eagles, to get serious with the search for the next Nigerian goalkeeper as Vincent Enyeama may have began to show signs that he may soon bow out of the national team.
Being Nigeria's first choice goalkeeper for over a decade now, after displacing great hands like Dele Ayienugba, Austin Ejide, Vincent Enyeama began to rob shoulders with the world's best.
Many football analysts at the last FIFA World Cup in Brazil began to rate him in the class of Italian Gianluca Buffon, Spanish Iker Casillas and indeed, German's Manuel. In fact, going by FIFA.com statistics page during the last world cup, Enyeama ranked better than some these great goalkeepers in the world today.
Indeed, Vincent Enyeama is the most successful Nigerian goalkeeper of all times. He is the only first choice goalkeeper that has won Caf Champion's league in Nigeria. He also won African Cup of Nations in 2013; ranked the best goalkeeper in Africa in 2014 and nominated to win Africa player of the year award also in 2014.
Enyeama has won Nigeria's player of the year award in 2014, Israel's Premier league player of year 2007 and rated best goalkeeper for several months in French ligue1in 2013.
After his 100 caps celebration, Enyeama may have let his country know that one day soon he may have to retire for the national team and there's need to start the Search for his replacement. The question now is this: 'Who can fit into the big gloves Enyeama would be leaving behind?
Enyeama has set a very high standard that Nigerians won't accept anything less. His exit from the national team wouldn't create a chance for Austin Ejide, who may be retiring soon also.
Well, not many think that Warri Wolves' Chigozie Agbim is in that class of Super goalkeepers, not Rotimi Sunday either! So which other goalkeeper are we looking at?
Wolves Wanderers' goalkeeper Carl Ikeme was very impressive in the recent Super Eagles' AFCON qualifiers against Tanzania and the friendly with Niger. Is he the next Nigerian Super goalkeeper or should we look for another one. Only time will tell.
Goalkeeping hasn't been that a challenge in the national team of any era. In fact, Enyeama may be the most successful on record, but he may not be ranked among Nigerian goalkeeper legends such as Flying cat Inua Lawal Rigogo, Ola onagoruwa, Emmanuel Okala, Peter Rufai...