Vincent Enyeama: The Greatest African Goalkeeper of All Time - A Dive Into His Life, profession and Achievement

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Goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama's Biography and Life

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Vincent Enyeama: The Greatest African Goalkeeper of All Time

Former Nigerian International and Super Eagle GoalKeeper, Vincent Enyeama, is awarded the Greatest African Goalkeeper of All Time by The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). The organization that offers statistical and historical chronology of association football records around the world.

IFFHS in its recent publication on its statistical news of the greatest goalkeepers of all time from each football confederation, listed Vincent Enyeama as the greatest goalkeeper from Confederation of African Football (CAF).

Mohamed Abdullaziz Al-Deayea (Saudi Arabia) was selected as the greatest for Asia. Gianluigi Buffon who featured in Italy’s 2006 World Cup win was named the greatest goalkeeper of all time for Europe.

Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay) was named the greatest goalkeeper for South America, the greatest for Oceania while Keylor Navas (former Costa Rica Keeper) was awarded the greatest goalkeeper of all times for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

The recent announcement by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) that Vincent Enyeama is the greatest goalkeeper of all time has been met with tremendous enthusiasm from football fans across Nigeria, Africa and around the world. It seems everyone agrees with the goal serving power of Enyeama who have left a great impact in the history of Nigeria's goal keeping.

Who is Vincent Enyeama? The Truth About the Life of the Nigerian Football Icon


Vincent Phillip Enyeama, popularly known as Vincent Enyeama, is a former Nigerian national goalkeeper and an international professional football super star who is regarded as the greatest African Goalkeeper of All Time.

Birth and Parentage:

Vincent Enyema was born on August 29,1982, to a Christian parent, Mr/Mrs. Philip Enyeama, from Urua Inyang Town, Ika Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Nigerian, before the creation of the state from former Cross Rivers State on 23rd September, 1987.

The actual birth place of Vincent Enyeama has been debated across different platforms. While some pages like Wikipedia publish Aba, Abia State, as the birth place of the Goalkeeper, other websites say he was born in Southern Kaduna. However, it is believed that the record-breaking goalkeeper was born in Kaduna but sometime spent his early childhood in Aba and his home town in Ika, Akwa Ibom State, where his parents dwelled.

On its French Lille Club Profile, Enyeama simply puts Nigeria as his place of birth but he is undoubtedly from Akwa Ibom State where he buried his mother, Lucy Philip Enyeama, on October, 2015.

Summary of Vincent Enyeama's Personal Life and Football Career



Vincent Enyeama's Personal Life and Football Career
Enyeama with Family Source: Instagram@VincentEnyeama001

Full Name: Vincent Philip Enyeama
Date of Birth: 29th August, 1982.
Age: 40+ years
Place of Birth: Nigeria.
Home Town: Urua Inyang
Local Government Area of Origin: Ika
State of Origin: Akwa Ibom State
Tribe: Annang
Country of Origin: Nigeria
Nationality: Nigerian
Father: Philip Enyeama
Mother: Lucy Philip Enyeama
Relationship Status: Married since 2006 to date
Wife: Promise Enyeama
Number of children: 3 children (2 girls and 1 boy)
Height: 1.82 meters (5 feet 11.26 inches)
Laguages: English, Annang, and others.
Skin Complexion: Dark
Race: Black African
Profession: Footballer
Position: Goalkeeper
Caps: 101
Net worth: $7 million (approx.)
Number of Clubs: 7 (Ibom Stars, Enyimba, Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Lille and Maccabi Tel Aviv).
National Team: Nigerian Super Eagles
Career Status: Retired
FIFA Player ID: 189300 (archived on wiki data)
Social Media Followers: Instagram 117k and Twitter 6.6K. The footballer seems not to be that active on social media, except Instagram, but we are looking forward to give you more updates.

Vincent Enyeama's Professional Football Career:


Enyeama developed passion for football from childhood but his professional football career dates back to 1999 when he began to play for a local Football Club, Ibom Stars FC, in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

During the 2001 season, Enyeama's exceptional goalkeeping talents earned him a spot on the Enyimba of Aba team, based in Aba, Abia State. While in Enyimba, he joined the Super Eagles of Nigeria. This period marked the most successful stretch in the history of Enyimba, as the club won the CAF Champions League in 2003 and 2004 and the Nigerian Premier League for three consecutive years (2001, 2002, and 2003). Enyeama was widely regarded as the driving force behind their successes during this time.

By the end of his times in the two Nigerian Football Clubs, Enyeama has featured in a total of 156 matches (56 for Ibom Stars and 100 for Enyimba), and scored 10 goals for the later club.

Enyeama moved from Enyimba to Heartland FC (Owerri) which was then Iwuanyanwu Nationale FC. He featured in 36 matches for the club. Heartland FC was the last Nigerian club side he played for before moving to an Israeli Football Club, Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv.

At Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, the football superstar led the club to qualify for the national league final and UEFA Champion's League and played about 56 matches between 2005-2007.

Other clubs Vincent Enyeama has played for include Israeli Football Club, Hapoel Tel Aviv (signed in 2007), where he played a total of 113 matches and won several cups before leaving the club in 2011 to Lille. 

The French Club, Lille took advantage and signed a deal with Enyeama in 2011. He was loaned to Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2012 where he won the Isreali 2012-2013 Premiere League for the club during his loan period.

Enyeama's Achievement and the Nigerian National Football


Vincent Enyiama Acheievements in Nigerian Football
Enyeama in Super Eagle's Team Source: Instagram@VincentEnyeama001

Vincent Enyeama joined the Nigerian National Team, the Super Eagles of Nigeria, in 2002. He became the main goalkeeper of the team after the reign of Ike Shorunmu who retired from the Nigerian national football in 2006. He has accomplished so much for the Nigerian National Team, the Super Eagles.

He was part of the "Golden Generation" of Nigerian footballers that reached the quarterfinals of the FIFA World Cup in 2002, the 2013 African Cup of Nations success, where they reached the final. In 2014 FIFA World Cup, Enyeama and his team reached the knockout stages.

His Super Eagles squad also won the 2013 and 2014 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament, making him the first and only Nigerian to win the continental championship three times. He also holds record for the most clean sheets in the Nigerian Premier League, with 78 in total.

He served in the Nigerian national team for over a decade (2002-2015). By the end of his 13 years in the Super Eagles team, Vincent Enyeama has become the longest-serving captain in the team's history, having worn the armband from 2013 to his retirement from the Nigerian side in 2015.

Awards and Nominations


Vincent Enyeama has won several awards and broken many records both as a player in the Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles and his clubs. The following are some of his awards and nominations.

Awards:

  • African Champion League's Best Player (2014)
  • CAF Africa's Finest XI (2014, 2015)
  • UNFP Player of the Month in October and November (2013)

Nominations:

  • African Champion Leagues Best Player
  • African Player of the Year
  • CAF Goalkeeper of  the Year
Note: We are not providing information on all the awards and nominations for the goalkeeper here but the most relevant to our context.

Other Achievements by Enyeama

Vincent Enyeama's career accomplishments by the time of his retirement in 2020 were nothing short of extraordinary. He was recognized as the highest African scoring goalkeeper, the first African keeper to win 2 leagues with European clubs, and the first keeper to win the CAF Champions League consecutively.

Enyeama was also the first keeper to keep 11 clean sheets in French Ligue 1, the first African goalkeeper to stop 4 penalty kicks in a single match at the 2006 African Cup of Nations, the longest serving Nigerian captain, and the first Nigerian keeper with the highest caps (101). Additionally, he was consistently rated as the greatest goalkeeper in most of his clubs. We can not list it all.

Vincent Enyeama's Reputation and Fans Viewpoint

Enyeama's reputation and fans viewpoint
Vincent Enyeama and Lionel Messi

Prior to the report by the IFFHS, Enyeama is known across Nigeria as a football hero and the best goalkeeper in the country's history only followed by the likes of Peter Rufai who became famous as a goalkeeper in the Nigeria's 1994 Olympic Gold Medal winning team. Unlike Peter Rufai, Enyeama emerged at the period when Nigerian football was deteriorating and needed someone to save the face of the country's football history from indictable shame.

Vincent Enyeama is renowned among fans, not only for his goal keeping prowess but also for his affable character, sportsmanship and personality. His passion for the game, his compassion for his fellow players, and his love for his country make him an admirable figure on the pitch. 

He is known to always puts himself on the line, doing whatever it takes to protect his team from a loss. For Nigeria's national team, the Super Eagles, the presence of Enyeama in the goal was like a healing medicine and a shot of hope for their fans, even when the defense and offense would leave the fans in emotional spasm.

The retirement of Enyeama from the national football in 2015 was a bad news for Nigerian fans. Even when it was obvious that the former international was still playing for his club sides, it was more like losing a loved one, but in this case, he was still reachable on screens while playing for his foreign clubs.

Vincent Enyeama, to this day, is without a doubt a beacon of African Football, and rightfully holds the title of the greatest African goalkeeper of all time. He is a source of national pride for Nigeria, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations of African goalkeepers for years to come. While it remains unclear whether Nigeria will ever be blessed with another number one footballer of Enyeama’s calibre, his achievements will remain a benchmark for all aspiring African goalkeepers and his name penned on the African golden books of sports history.

Written by: Abasiama Akpan (Abas Obot)
Copyright©2023 Knowledge Trend Media

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