The former Super Eagles captain, often regarded as one of Nigeria’s finest ever shot-stoppers, may have left behind a lasting legacy in France
Vincent Enyeama is the most outstanding goalkeeper to have ever kept goal for Lille, according to respected football publication, 90 min.
In their 76-year history, Lille have paraded some fantastic goalkeepers, including ex-Martinique international Steeve Elana, former France first-choice Mickael Landreau, and Senegal great Tony Sylva, among others.
But all will queue behind Enyeama, who was named in Lille’s greatest first eleven for being “formidable in the one-on-one with attackers…. (and) will forever remain one of the most talented goalkeepers that Ligue 1 has known in the 21st century.”
Enyeama moved to Lille in 2011 after six hugely successful years in Israel with Bnei Yehuda and Hapoel Tel Aviv.
The former Enyimba ace had a tough start to life in France and spent the 2012 – 2013 season on loan at Maccabi Tel Aviv.
But the two-time CAF Champions League winner quickly established himself as Les Dogues’ number one on his return from that loan spell.
Enyeama made 164 appearances in all competitions for Lille, 143 of which came in Ligue 1, during which the former Heartland man kept a club-record 11 consecutive clean sheets.
His top performances also earned him the 2014 Prix Marc-Vivien Foé, an award given to the best African player in Ligue 1.
Enyeama remains Nigeria’s joint most-capped player in history with 101 appearances and is a vital member of the Super Eagles squad that lifted the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.