Vincent Enyeama

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Vincent Enyeama
Vincent Enyeama - Hapoel Tel-Aviv.JPG
Enyeama playing for Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2009
Personal information
Full name Vincent Enyeama
Date of birth (1982-08-29) 29 August 1982 (age 31)
Place of birth Kaduna, Nigeria
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)[1]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Lille
Number 1
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2000 Ibom Stars 56 (1)
2001–2004 Enyimba 100 (10)
2005 Iwuanyanwu Nationale 36 (0)
2005–2007 Bnei Yehuda 56 (0)
2007–2011 Hapoel Tel Aviv 113 (8)
2011– Lille 32 (0)
2012–2013 Maccabi Tel Aviv (loan) 27 (0)
National team
2002– Nigeria 88 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 April 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:00, 18 November 2013 (UTC +1)

Vincent Enyeama (born 29 August 1982) is a Nigerian football goalkeeper. Since 2002, he has played for the national team of Nigeria. He currently plays for Lille OSC who he signed for in June 2011. [2]

Club career[edit]

During his spell with Enyimba he won the CAF Champions League twice, with one noteworthy mention: He was always substituted before penalty shootouts. "I don't know why I was substituted before penalties, but it worked," he said in an interview in 2006. "In Israel I stopped many penalties and now everyone knows that I can handle penalties."

After three seasons with Enyimba and one with FC Heartland, Enyeama moved to a minor club in Israel, Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv. He had a fantastic first season, showing amazing physical and athletic skills. In his first season with Bnei Yehuda, the team qualified for the final of the Israel State Cup and achieved fourth place in the Israeli Premier League, which qualified the team for the 2006 UEFA Cup.

Enyeama signed for Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2007. Hapoel Tel Aviv endured a poor season in 2007/2008, but Enyeama helped the team to avoid relegation and reach the state cup final. On 18 August 2010 he scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season with a penalty against Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League qualifiers.

In June 2011 he moved to French side Lille for an undisclosed fee on a three-year contract.[3] He made his debut on 18 October 2011 against Inter Milan in the 2012 UEFA Champions League group stage, where Inter managed a 1–0 victory.

In August 2012 Enyeama agreed a one-year loan deal with Maccabi Tel Aviv and was presented to the media by Maccabi's Sports Director Jordi Cruyff at 8 August 2012.[4] At that season he captured 27 appearances in the Israeli Premier League and took part in Maccabi's success to win the championship title.

During the 2013–14 Ligue 1 season, club manager René Girard picked Enyeama as his first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Steeve Elana, who had been the first-choice goalkeeper when Rudi Garcia was the club manager. With the help of his two centre-backs, Marko Baša and Simon Kjær, Enyeama kept 11 consecutive clean sheets in Ligue 1 matches during the first half of the 2013–14 Ligue 1 season. On 8 Dec 2013, Enyeama finally conceded a goal after playing 1,062 minutes of Ligue 1 football in an away match against Bordeaux, during which he was beaten by Landry N'Guémo's deflected strike in the 27th minute. He thus came within 114 minutes of equalling Gaëtan Huard's Division 1 or Ligue 1 goalkeeping record, set in 1993, of playing 1,176 minutes without conceding a goal. [5]

International career[edit]

Enyeama was selected for the 2002 World Cup as a cover for Ike Shorunmu. He only played one match in that tournament, keeping a clean sheet against England, and took over the spot after Shorunmu's international retirement. Since then he has been the first-choice goalkeeper for the national team, playing in the 2004 African Cup of Nations, 2006 African Cup of Nations, and indeed all African Cup of Nations till 2013 except for the 2008 edition in Ghana where he lost his position to Austin Ejide. In the 2006 CAN, he stopped three penalties in the quarter-final against Tunisia, but could not prevent a loss to Côte d'Ivoire in the semi-final. Goalkeeper Enyeama turned out the hero for the Nigerians as he saved Thomas Nyirenda's spot kick after both teams had scored their previous three kicks. He put his own kick past his opposite number Mweene in a battle of the goalkeepers, after Mweene had scored his seconds earlier, to set up a semi-final clash with Ghana, which Nigeria lost 1–0 only to end up settling for the third place by beating Algeria by a slim 1–0 victory margin[6]

Vincent Enyeama justified claims as one of the best shot-stoppers in football at the moment, with a defiant display to restrict Argentina to a 1–0 win in their Group B 2010 FIFA World Cup match. Enyeama, who was playing his 56th international for the Super Eagles, made six fine saves, four of them from Lionel Messi, and was the major reason for Nigeria coming so close to almost pinching a draw against the two-time world champions. Despite the loss, he was named Man of the Match and World Player of the Week by Argentine coach Maradona praised him as the reason Leo Messi was not able to score a goal.

He was called up to Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.[7]

As active captain (standing in for Joseph Yobo who stayed on the bench for most of the competition), Enyeama led Nigeria to her third continental victory. He was named to the team of the tournament as first choice goalkeeper, alongside four other Nigerian players in various positions.

He was selected for Nigeria's squad at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.[8]

Car accident[edit]

In 2004 Enyeama was involved in a car accident in Uyo, south eastern Nigeria, in which two motorcycle passengers were killed, and the driver of the car which Enyeama was in was left in a critical condition. Despite the severity of the accident Enyeama only came out with bruises as the car somersaulted twice as it swerved to avoid a motorbike.[9]



Enyimba International F.C.
Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Maccabi Tel-Aviv


Nigeria Nigeria



  1. ^ Vincent Enyeama at
  2. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (August 13, 2012). "Enyeama completes loan move to Maccabi Tel Aviv". bbc. Retrieved October 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Nigeria's number one joins French champions Lille". BBC Sport. 30 June 2011. Retrieved 30 June 2011. 
  4. ^ Enyeama joins Maccabi Tel Aviv in Maccabi Tel Aviv official website
  5. ^ "Enyeama invincibility ended in Bordeaux defeat". official website of Ligue 1. 8 Dec 2013. 
  6. ^ "Zambia 0–0 Nigeria (Nigeria win 5–4 on penalties)". BBC Sport. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-26. 
  7. ^ Oluwashina Okeleji (10 January 2013). "Nations Cup 2013: Nigeria pick six locally-based players". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  8. ^ "Nigeria to take new-look squad to Confederations Cup". BBC Sport. 9 June 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Enyeama escapes fatal crash". BBC News. 19 October 2004. 

External links[edit]