Ex-Super Eagles skipper, Vincent Enyeama, Monday, August 29, clocked 34. The Lille of France star is probably the greatest Nigerian goalkeeper of all time having enjoyed a successful international career which spanned over a decade.
At club level, the former Enyimba goalie has also enjoyed tremendous breakthrough winning numerous team accolades as well as personal honours.
To mark the birthday of this great icon, we highlight 10 of his biggest achievements yet.
- Most capped Nigerian
With 101 appearances, Enyeama is Nigeria’s most capped player in history – one more than predecessor, Joseph Yobo. The shot-stopper who made his debut for the country against Kenya in May 2002, retired in October 2015 after a fallout with ex-coach, Sunday Oliseh.
- AFCON winner
In his 15 years with the Eagles, Enyeama won three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations bronze medals before clinching the title in 2013.
- Three World Cup appearances
Enyeama falls into an elite group of Nigerians to have played in three FIFA World Cups (2002, 2010 and 2014). The other two are Austin Jay-Jay Okocha and Yobo.
- CAF Champions League winner
Prior to his move to Europe, Enyeama excelled domestically – winning back-to-back CAF Champions League titles with Enyimba in 2003 and 2004. He also won three consecutive Nigeria Professional Football League titles with the People’s Elephants between 2001 and 2003.
- CAF Champions League Player of the Year
Enyeama’ exploits with Enyimba as they won their second Champions League title in 2004 earned him the tournament’s Player of the Year which is a remarkable feat for a goalkeeper.
- Player of the Year in Israel
Enyeama’s sojourn to Europe in 2007 with Israeli side, Hapoel Tel Aviv, didn’t exactly go as expected in his debut season. However, the Nigerian bounced back the season after to win another individual award- the Player of the Year award.
- Israeli champion
After a remarkable 2008/09 campaign, Enyeama went a step forward to clinch the Israeli double in 2010 which included the Israeli Premier League.
- Outstanding goalscoring feat
Enyeama isn’t solely known for his goalkeeping prowess, but also his contribution at the other end of the pitch. It is on record that the one-time Ibom Stars prodigy has notched 20 career goals – including a penalty for Hapoel in the 3-2 win over Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League play off in 2010.
- Best African in France
In 2010, Enyeama moved to French giant, Lille and four years later won the Marc Vivien Foe Award. The award celebrates the performance of Africans in the French Ligue 1.
- Record clean sheets
Enyeama kept an unbelievable 11 consecutive clean sheets in 2013 to become the second most kept by any goalkeeper in the history of the French Ligue 1.