Vincent Enyeama has been named the Goal Nigeria Player of the Year 2014, winning the award courtesy of overwhelming votes from readers of the football website.
The Lille and Super Eagles goalkeeper led the field that included illustrious compatriots Ahmed Musa, Obafemi Martins, Mfon Udoh and Ikechukwu Uche.
A joyful Enyeama, 32, accepted the award at his club in France on Monday morning.
“I’m happy, really happy,” he enthused. “I want to thank my teammates at Lille, the Nigeria national team, my coaches, my wife, my fans, everybody who voted for me, who scream for me during matches to encourage me. And the journalists, without which nothing will be possible.”
Enyeama is only the second player to win the Goal Nigeria Player of the Year award following John Obi Mikel’s dominance in the past two years.
“I think it’s really hard for a goalkeeper to be recognized. I want to say to all the other goalkeepers that they have to work hard. If they work hard, with God, everything is possible,” he said.
Coming off a season in France where he kept clean sheets in 21 matches (with 11 consecutive shut outs), the Super Eagles number one has got big dreams.
“I want to win every match. Everyday, I give my best to be better than yesterday,” he said.
“My target [is] to be the best goalkeeper in the world. This is my dream, and I’m working hard for this.
“In Nigeria, we have worked on basics and specific things. Our coach [Stephen] Keshi is very important.
“At Lille, Jean Pierre Mottet is very helpful too. They really helped to shape me, to shape my style, to make me who I am, a good goalkeeper.
“I’m not yet at my best level, I have many things to work out,” he said.
The World Cup was very momentous for Enyeama who led the Super Eagles to the Round of 16 for the first time since 1998.
Even though he finds it hard to choose his most memorable save, he remembers with glee the late save which ensured the African champions kept all three points against Bosnia-Herzegovina in hot Cuiaba and crucially kept them in place for a second round ticket.
“The most memorable save, it’s very difficult to say because there were so many matches, so many saves in my career.
“Sometimes double saves, triple saves in a match… I can’t really choose one. But if I had to choose one moment, I think it was the last minute save against Bosnia,” he said.