The Super Eagles of Nigeria has just recorded a loss before even kicking the soccer ball against the Congolese side. This is so following the news that Nigerian icon and International goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama has announced that he is quitting from international football as a result of his burst up with they Super Eagles head coach, Sunday Oliseh.
The 33-year-old shot-stopper who plys his trade in Europe with France’s Lille OSC who are currently 12th in French Ligue 1 recently had an altercation with the Super Eagles handler, Sunday Oliseh which resulted in an ugly confrontation this week in Belgium as the team prepared for their double international friendlies against DR Congo and Cameroon.
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According to the reports, The former skipper unceremoniously quit the Nigerian National football team after 13 years of national service which saw him win 101 caps to become Nigeria’s longest serving player. He announced the news of his retirement himself when he took to Instagram to thank the Nigerian fans for standing by him all these years. See his post:
“I have fought a good fight for more than 13 years. I have finished my course, I have kept the faith and sang the anthem with passion.
“Henceforth, there is laid for me a crown which only God can reward me for my 13 years of national service. Henceforth, I am no more the captain of the Nigeria senior football team, I am no more the goalie of the team, I am out of the team. I am no more available for international duties.
“I want to say thank you to every Nigerian fan and supporter world wide. It has been the most trying period of my life but I know that Nigerians are there for me and God is with me. God bless Nigeria.”
This development will not only come as a surprise to Nigerians but also as a shock, especially after the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) had came out to ally the fear of many by claiming that the burst up in the teams meeting in Belgium was a “misunderstanding which has now been resolved.” It is now very obvious nothing was resolved.
Enyeama has been Nigeria’s first choice goalie and has been patriotic, endearing himself to the hearts of Nigerians with unbelievable saves, especially in the 2010 World cup against the World Best Player at that time, Lionel Messi. It was reported that trouble started brewing between the captain and coach when his missed the Super Eagles camp fro the match against Tanzania, following the death of his mother. He had arrived at the Super Eagles’ training camp in Belgium late having had extra time off to bury his mother. However, trouble ensued when he found out that he had been stripped of the captaincy, which had been his since the retirement of Joseph Yobo after the 2014 World Cup. Ahmed Musa was the preferred candidate for the arm-band.
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He refused to confirm that the decision to strip him of the skipper’s armband hastened his retirement but told BBC Sport that it was a difficult time to leave.
“It’s been the most difficult period of my life, losing my mother and the emotion. After playing for the Super Eagles for 13 years, you never think that it would end like this but the time [to retire from international football] has come.There is never a good time to leave but I will always be a fan of the Super Eagles and Nigerian football. I played at three World Cups, won the Africa Cup of Nations and fought alongside brave compatriots so I am leaving on a high,” he concluded.
Enyeama made his debut against Kenya in May 2002 in Lagos and during his international career he helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, where he emerged as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
He played in five Nations Cup tournaments – in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013 – and was part of the Nigeria squad at the 2002, 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.
Will Nigerians and the Super Eagles miss him? I think you only need to watch the clips below to find out: