One of Nigeria’s best shot-stoppers in modern times is refusing to hang up his gloves just yet, but the former Lille keeper has shut the door on a return to the national team.
Former Super Eagles goalie Vincent Enyeama admits 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 have been chances offered to Daniel Akpeyi, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Francis Uzoho, and Maduka Okoye, but none has sealed the goalkeeping role as his.
There have 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, insists 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.”