Vincent Enyeama End of an Era


Former Super Eagles captain, Vincent Enyeama last week Friday announced dumping French Ligue 1 side, Lille, after seven years. “Beyond his performanc­es, LOSC and his supporters will remember Vincent’s smile and enthusiasm. The club now wishes him the best in his future projects,” a brief statement on their official website read.

“The adventure has ended. I thank Lille supporters for their incredible support during these seven years, which were, for me, years of happiness and joy. Thank you, a thousand times, thank you, for this love that you’ve given me,” Enyeama wrote on Twitter.

Enyeama received a knock while in action for Lille in April and hasn’t featured for the French side since then. A surgery on his injured knee followed suit in May and after that, it’s been intensive rehabilita­tion for the exEnyimba goalie.

On the appointmen­t of Marcelo Bielsa as Lille’s coach last year, the Argentine tactician deemed the Nigerian and several other senior players surplus to requiremen­ts and while most of the lads have since moved on in search of greener pastures, Enyeama remained at the club to gain full fitness.

“I want to establish myself at Lille. It’s the club that wants me to leave. We’ll see if they find a solution between now and the end of the transfer window. I’m calm. It’s a bit bizarre, but I’m handling it OK. I was informed like the others, by text. We’re under contract; the club does what it wants. We would have liked to have had a discussion. But it’s a business choice made by the bosses,” Enyeama had said.

In 2015, Enyeama announced his retirement from internatio­nal football after a clash with the then Coach Sunday Oliseh of the Super Eagles, ending his 13-year associatio­n with the national team.

"I have fought a good fight for more than 13 years. I have finished my course; I have kept the faith and sang the anthem with passion. Henceforth, there is laid for me a crown which only God can reward me for my 13 years of national services. God bless Nigeria.

"Henceforth, I am no more the captain of the Nigerian senior football team; I am no more the goalie of the team, I am out of the team. I am no more available for internatio­nal duties. I want to say thank you to every Nigerian fan and supporter worldwide. It’s been the most trying period of my life but I know that Nigerians are there for me and God is with me. God bless Nigeria," he had said on Instagram then.

However, when the news of acute leukaemia to Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme first greeted Nigeria, it jolted the coaching crew of Super Eagles and there were calls from many circles for the return of Enyeama in spite of the fact that second choice goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa had not done badly since being drafted to the team.

Super Eagles tactician, Gernot Rohr, then made move for the former goalkeeper and captain of the team to reverse his decision as the German was keen on having the former Lille of France shot-stopper back in the team due to his experience and abilities.

” It’s been positive so far, we are yet to get to a point where he will say yes or no. I need him in the team. We need his experience, then we can have a young talented goalkeeper as an understudy. We will meet again in the coming days to talk further, I can’t put a time frame to when talks will take place but it’s very soon. Hopefully, it will be positive,” Rohr had said then.

Former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo, also said then that he was willing to talk to Enyeama, to come out of retirement. In spite of Ikechukwu Ezenwa not doing badly, Rohr seems not to appear to trust the home-based keeper.

Kanu said Nigeria needs “worldclass” Enyeama “badly”.

“As it is now, we need Vincent badly.

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