Vincent Enyeama wants Super Eagles return

Enyeama: Why I can’t return to Super Eagles

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Former Super Eagles goalie, Vincent Enyeama has ruled out any move to return to the man the Super Eagles goal post, the SportsBay.com reports.

He also admitted that Daniel Akpeyi and Francis Uzoho are fantastic goalkeeping options for Gernot Rohr and it would be a slap on their faces should he return to take their spot.

Enyeama is arguably Nigeria’s greatest ever goalkeeper, appearing at three FIFA World Cups and lifting the African Cup of Nations in 2013. However, his 13-year international career was brought to a premature end in 2015, following a clash with then-Super Eagles head coach, Sunday Oliseh.

Five years after, Rohr is still searching for a long-term replacement for Nigeria’s joint most capped player ever, with the Super Eagles’ goalposts manned by five different goalkeepers during that period.

After Carl Ikeme, there had been chances offered to Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho, and Maduka Okoye, but none had sealed the goalkeeping role as his.

There had been calls, urging Enyeama to return to the national fold and help ease Rohr’s biggest problem.

But the 37-year-old, who has been without a club since leaving Lille in 2018, insisted that it would not be in the best interest of all the parties involved.

“A good Nigerian league goalkeeper right now will be better than me because I haven’t played in over a year,” Enyeama told ESPN. “Playing for Nigeria is not an easy thing. If you have not played for a year, you can’t come out and say you want to play for Nigeria.

Nigeria is such a big country. You can’t go and mess up. “What is Uzoho doing that they should call me? What about Osigwe or the young boy, Maduka in Germany? Akpeyi is doing excellently well in South Africa.

“Why should they call Enyeama, when Ezenwa is playing and there are good goalkeepers in the Nigerian league. You can’t call Vincent Enyeama. It would be insulting to the other goalkeepers. “We should be proud of these guys. They are all good goalkeepers.”

Enyeama has not played since leaving Lille in August 2018, when a potential move to Dijon fell through at the last minute, but he remains determined still to wring out a few more years from his 37-year-old body before calling it a day.

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“If I have the right project, yeah, I will get back on the field,” he told ESPN. “I am looking at projects that will help me get to the next stage and pursue the things I want to do. It is not about just football.

“It was a choice of staying with the family and pursuing a future. That is what has kept me in France. The opportunity I had with Dijon did not work out. The details were not good. I don’t like suffering and smiling.”

There have been reports about him joining South African giants Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs, though he said that he was more answering a theoretical question from a reporter than saying there had been discussions.

He was asked whether he’d move to Johannesburg if the right offer came along: “He [the reporter] asked if I would be willing to play in Africa, especially in SA. He mentioned some clubs, Joburg clubs. I told him why not, if the details are ok.”

While waiting for the right offer to come along, the former Enyimba man says he is in the process of grooming a new generation of goalkeepers to solve Nigeria’s woes in that position.

He explained: “I have plans with the governor of my state (Akwa Ibom) to raise an academy for the people. I have a few goalkeepers I am training already. I want to give back, to raise clean sheet machines.”

About Olusola 'Jide

I'm an avid and seasoned sports/ multimedia journalist. I have a biased love for Real Madrid and passionate advocate for the overall growth of the Nigeria Sports Project. I can be reached on 09077894123 or/and 'info@thesportsbay.com'

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