Former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama turns 38 on Saturday, and Ripples Nigeria’s Ben Ugbana curates 10 facts about the star goalie.
1. Enyeama, an Ibomite, was born in Abia
On the 29th day of August, 1982, the man who would later become a great shot-stopper was born in Abia State in the South-East although his parents hailed from Akwa-Ibom, Nigeria.
2. He began professional football at Ibom Stars
Enyeama started his professional career as a footballer at Nigerian club, Ibom Stars, where he played between 1999 and 2001, making 56 appearances and scoring one goal.
3. Vincent won two CAF Champions League titles
The star goalkeeper played at Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club, Enyimba International between 2001 and 2004, and helped the club to two continental titles.
4. He scored 10 goals as Enyimba goalkeeper
At the Aba side, Enyeama was not just stopping shots, but was also scoring goals. In the 100 appearances that Enyeama made at the club, he bagged 10 goals. During his time at Israeli side, Hapoel Tel Aviv (2007-2011), he also bagged nine goals.
5. Vincent Enyeama has to his name, five domestic titles with three clubs in two countries
Apart from winning two CAF Champions League titles with Enyimba, Enyeama also won three Nigeria Premier League titles with the Aba club in 2001, 2002 and 2003. He went on to win two Israeli Premier League titles, first with Hapoel Tel-Aviv in 2010 and later with Maccabi Tel-Aviv in 2013.
6. Enyeama was initially not trusted for penalty shoot-outs
While Enyeama helped Enyimba to two continental titles and three domestic titles, he was always substituted before penalty shoot-outs. But after moving to Israel Enyeama stopped many penalties, and also stopped three kicks in the quarter-final penalty shootout against Tunisia in the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
7. Vincent was Nigeria’s King of the Pitch in 2014
After winning the Goalkeeper of the year award at the Nigeria Pitch Awards in 2013, Enyeama won the title again in the 2014 edition and was also crowned the King of the pitch the same year. He was name Goal Nigeria Player of the Year also in 2014.
8. Enyeama is Super Eagles’ joint record appearance holder
Alongside former captain, Joseph Yobo, Enyeama made a total of 101 appearances for Nigeria, having played from 2002 to 2015 when he retired from international football.
9. He captained the Eagles to Nigeria’s third AFCON title
After making his debut in 2002, Enyeama remained first-choice goalkeeper following the retirement of Ike Shorunmu. He then helped the Super Eagles to third-place finishes in the 2004, 2006, 2010 AFCON tournaments, before captaining (with Yobo benched) the team to victory of in the 2013 edition hosted in South Africa.
10. Vincent is manager at French side, Iris
The 38-year-old’s time in the sport is not yet over, as he is currently coaching young players at a French lower league side, Iris.
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