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‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by naijasofamerica(f): 5:06am On Dec 10, 2013
Vincent Enyeama came agonisingly close to breaking the French top-flight shutout record, but even as he was finally beaten after 1,061

minutes on Sunday, the infectiously enthusiastic Nigerian still managed a smile.

The 31-year-old had come to be known as 'Jesus' by his Lille team-mates during a remarkable run of 11 consecutive clean sheets which had

helped propel the Northern club to within a single point of Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

Sunday's match at improving Bordeaux should have been all about Lille's quest to keep the pressure on PSG. But instead it was all about

Enyeama.

Could he keep another clean sheet and edge a little closer to breaking the all-time French top-flight record of 1,176 minutes without

conceding, set by Girondins' goalkeeper Gaëtan Huard in 1993?

The Bordeaux players were determined to maintain Huard's - and their club's - record and they finally ended Enyeama's invincibility after

more than 17 and a half hours. It needed something out of the ordinary to beat him, and he was left with no chance when a Landry

N'Guémo shot took a huge deflection off Simon Kjaer and ended up in the back of the net.

"When you have a man behind you with eight arms..." Kjaer had said after last midweek's 1-0 win against Marseille.

Sadly, on this occasion, not even Enyeama could keep the ball out. And as he allowed himself a smile, the Bordeaux players ran across to

celebrate with Huard, who was at Sunday's game in his capacity as a touchline reporter for beIN Sport.

Despite that, and Lille's resulting 1-0 defeat against a Bordeaux side that played the last half hour with ten men, Enyeama was still the

visitors' top performer on the day in the eyes of sports daily L'Equipe, thanks to two crucial saves at the end of the first half to deny Ludovic

Obraniak.

"Honestly, I was never even thinking about the record," Enyeama said later. "When I'm on the pitch I just enjoy myself. If I concede a goal,

it's ok.

"I knew everyone had been waiting (for him to concede), so it made me smile. I think my team-mates wanted to see me beat the record,

but I will go into the game against Bastia (next Sunday) only thinking about winning. This defeat is just what happens in football, life goes

on."

To many observers, it seems like Enyeama has emerged from nowhere to become one of the stars of the season so far in France. Having

initially signed for the club in 2011 before being loaned to Maccabi Tel Aviv last season without having played a Ligue 1 game, it took him

until this campaign to break into the Lille team.

The departures of Mickaël Landreau last December and then coach Rudi Garcia in the summer helped. New coach René Girard chose

Enyeama as his number one ahead of Steeve Elana, and he has not looked back.

Enyeama is already 31. He won back-to-back African Champions League titles when with Enyimba and then spent six years in Israel with

Bnei Yehuda and Hapoel Tel Aviv before joining Lille.

He also starred for the Super Eagles at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In their opening game, they lost 1-0 to Argentina but, as the

report on FIFA's website says, the South Americans "might have won by more but for Enyeama".

Indeed, Lionel Messi described him as "phenomenal" in that match.

He won the Cup of Nations with Nigeria earlier this year, but it has still taken him until now to make his mark at club level in Europe.

Previously, Wolfsburg sporting director Dieter Hoeness turned down the chance to sign him because, at 5ft 11in, he was too small. Sam

Allardyce also opted against signing him for Bolton in 2004.

Now he is happy where he is. Enyeama is always smiling, and his team-mates say that his Nigerian accent gives them endless hours of fun.

He has even more reason to smile now. His infectious positivity has him convinced that the Super Eagles can go all the way at next year's

World Cup.

And when he comes back from that he will see his wages almost double as a new contract - which was agreed last week and extends his

stay at the club until 2017 - kicks in. He deserves that.

After all, Lille have conceded just five goals in 17 league games this season. That is a record in the history of the French top flight, and one

for which Enyeama takes an awful lot of the credit.

1 Like

Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by Cooldude001: 5:14am On Dec 10, 2013
Proud of you my brother! cool

2 Likes

Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by emmanuelson20: 5:25am On Dec 10, 2013
Kudos Enyeama!

1 Like

Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by Nobody: 5:52am On Dec 10, 2013
Nice one
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by Nobody: 6:33am On Dec 10, 2013
Enyeama has scored a staggering 19 goals for the professional clubs he has played for.

He scored 1 goal for Ibom Stars, 10 goals for Enyimba, and 8 goals for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

By contrast, Mikel has only scored 4 goals in club football.

5 Likes

Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by nerodenero: 11:33am On Dec 10, 2013
He is one of the finest in Africa but would be a lot greater if he could replicate his form in the next World Cup.
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by Nobody: 12:32pm On Dec 10, 2013
CFCfan: Enyeama has scored a staggering 19 goals for the professional clubs he has played for.

He scored 1 goal for Ibom Stars, 10 goals for Enyimba, and 8 goals for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

By contrast, Mikel has only scored 4 goals in club football.

Oh my days! grin

Enyeama is a poacher. grin
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by omar22(m): 12:41pm On Dec 10, 2013
CFCfan: Enyeama has scored a staggering 19 goals for the professional clubs he has played for.

He scored 1 goal for Ibom Stars, 10 goals for Enyimba, and 8 goals for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

By contrast, Mikel has only scored 4 goals in club football.

Enyeama took the penalties
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by jhydebaba(m): 8:19pm On Dec 10, 2013
At last!!! He conceded a goal. Well, he can only get better. He's still playing, so, we can't rule him out just yet.
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by isalegan2: 8:53pm On Dec 10, 2013
CFCfan: Enyeama has scored a staggering 19 goals for the professional clubs he has played for.

He scored 1 goal for Ibom Stars, 10 goals for Enyimba, and 8 goals for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

By contrast, Mikel has only scored 4 goals in club football.

About time people stop rating Mikel. Or is he not playing at all? undecided
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by nerodenero: 8:24am On Dec 11, 2013
isale_gan2: About time people stop rating Mikel. Or is he not playing at all? undecided
If he isn't good enough or doesn't have a good rating, I bet you he wont be playing for Mourinho's Chelsea. Despite is low scoring record, Mikel is still world-class grin. You need to watch the Ivory Coast vs Nigeria match at last AFCON and Nigeria Vs Uruguay at the Confederation Cup and you will bear with me that he still a force to reckon with. World cup will further prove that once again.
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by alekside(m): 9:14am On Dec 11, 2013
nerodenero: If he isn't good enough or doesn't have a good rating, I bet you he wont be playing for Mourinho's Chelsea. Despite is low scoring record, Mikel is still world-class grin. You need to watch the Ivory Coast vs Nigeria match at last AFCON and Nigeria Vs Uruguay at the Confederation Cup and you will bear with me that he still a force to reckon with. World cup will further prove that once again.
I don't like criticizing players, but Mikel? World class? Hahahahahahahaha
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by alekside(m): 9:17am On Dec 11, 2013
Enyeama not equaling and breaking that record was quite painful. Na me the thing pain pass.
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by Psychedelia(m): 10:45am On Dec 11, 2013
CFCfan: Enyeama has scored a staggering 19 goals for the professional clubs he has played for.

He scored 1 goal for Ibom Stars, 10 goals for Enyimba, and 8 goals for Hapoel Tel Aviv.

By contrast, Mikel has only scored 4 goals in club football.

Mikel is grossly overrated. People just no wan admit am.
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by omar22(m): 12:37pm On Dec 11, 2013
You might not rate Mikel, but in world football Mikel is rated higher than Enyeama in all ways!!
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by isalegan2: 4:28pm On Dec 11, 2013
omar22: You might not rate Mikel, but in world football Mikel is rated higher than Enyeama in all ways!!

Because he plays for Chelsea? It's unfortunate that anyone would rate Mikel higher than Enyeama. That's just ridiculous outdated hype, no offense. undecided
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by omar22(m): 8:59pm On Dec 11, 2013
isale_gan2:

Because he plays for Chelsea? It's unfortunate that anyone would rate Mikel higher than Enyeama. That's just ridiculous outdated hype, no offense. undecided

Well the creame always rise to the top
Re: ‘eight-armed’ Enyeama Falls Just Short Of Record by Cooldude001: 1:41pm On Dec 12, 2013
Whats up with this mikel comparison Wish you the best Enyeama! cool

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