In a side given to risk-taking down both flanks, veteran goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has proven himself adept at maintaining Nigerian defensive hopes single-handedly.

 

A shot-stopper of acrobatic abilities, Enyeama has occasionally been hurt by lapses in concentration, but he is capable of pulling off strings of spectacular saves, as he proved at the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ where he won two Man of the Match awards in Nigeria’s three matches. Indeed his performances in defeats against Argentina and Greece in South Africa were among the best in the recent history of the World Cup.

 

A popular figure in the country and the team, 'The Cat' has been the consistent first choice between the pipes for over a decade, and in the current team, he gives an organising presence for an inexperienced backline. Enyeama’s record in the CAF Africa Cup of Nations is stellar, helping the Super Eagles to third place finishes in the 2004, 2006 and 2010 tournaments and to their third continental trophy earlier in 2013, which qualified them for the FIFA Confederations Cup

 

In the most recent AFCON, he served as captain in the absence of Joseph Yobo, and he was named goalkeeper of the tournament. He has a reputation for being particularly strong against penalties, and has even been known to convert a few himself. Enyeama has earned a good amount of high-level club experience as well. He won the CAF Champions League twice with Nigerian club Enyimba before moving to Israel in 2005, where played in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Having attracted attention from a number of countries, Enyeama signed for French champions Lille in 2011 but went back to Israel on loan for all of this season.