31 March 2015 09:36
Wednesday, 26 March 2015 will forever be remembered in the life of goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama.
The Super Eagles shot-stopper marked his 100th appearance in a Nigerian colours on that day in an encounter, which unfortunately they lost (0-1), against Uganda. And to crown it all, it took place in his native town, Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State. He is just a game shy away from his former teammate Joseph Yobo, who made a record 101 caps.
Enyeama was selected for the first time on 5 May 2002 during a preparatory match for the Japan/South Korea World Cup against Kenya, which Nigeria won 3-0.
When asked about the match that impressed him the most, he replies without hesitation, that against Argentina on 12 June 2010 at the Ellis Park, Johannesburg during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
“We lost (0-1) but I was really inspired and was named Man of the Match Award, opposing Lionel Messi, at least. It was not even him who scored, but Gabriel Heinze at the very beginning of the match.”
Born on 29 August 1982, Enyeama first played for three Nigerian club sides: Ibom Stars from 1999 to 2001, then with Enyimba for four years where he won successive CAF Champions League titles and lastly Iwuanyanwu Nationale, now Heartland of Owerri.
He had his first outside experience with Israeli club, Bnei Yehuda in 2005. Two years later, he was transferred to Hapoël Tel-Aviv, one of the best clubs in Israel. In 2010, he was transferred to Lille, France, and became the second choice of the Lille team. At the end of the 2011-2012 season, unaccustomed to being on the reserve bench, Enyeama opted for a loan back to Israel, this time to the rival of his former club, Maccabi Tel Aviv.
He will later return to Lille at the end of the loan spell and established himself as the indispensable main player between the posts. Better still, during the 2013-2014 season, he successfully played about 1062 minutes uninterruptedly, that is about 11 matches consecutively, without conceding a goal.
It is rumoured that he will depart from the north of France by the end of this season. Nearing his 33rd birthday, Enyeama still has a promising future.
29 Africans to hit 100 cap mark
184: Ahmed Hassan (Egypt)
169: Hossam Hassan (Egypt)
143: Essam El-Hadary (Egypt)
137: Rigobert Song (Cameroon)
125: Ibrahim Hassan (Egypt)
124: Hany Ramzy (Egypt)
123: Didier Zokora (Cote d’Ivoire)
118: Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), Geremi Njitap (Cameroon), Abib Kolo Touré (Cote d’Ivoire)
115: Noureddine Naybet (Morocco), David Chabala (Zambia)
113: Wael Gomaa (Egypt)
112: Abdel Zaher El-Saqua (Egypt), Ahmed Abdul El Kass (Egypt)
110: Joseph Musonda (Zambia)
108: Godfrey Chitalu (Zambia)
107: Aaron Mokoena (South Africa), Ahmed Fathi (Egypt),
105: Radhi Jaidi (Tunisia), Ahmed Shobeir (Egypt)
104: Didier Drogba (Cote d’Ivoire), Nader El-Sayed (Egypt)
102: Seydou Keita (Mali), Elijah Tana (Zambia), Alex Chola (Zambia)
101: Joseph Yobo (Nigeria)
100: Mohamed Aboutreika (Egypt), Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)
Confederation of African Football (CAF) News
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