Former Super Eagles Captain and Safe Hands of the Nigerian goal region, Vincent Enyeama, in a no-holds-bare exclusive conversation with Hotsports, opens up on a number of issues bordering on the lingering fortunes of Nigerian football, at his exquisite and luxurious self-managed Vinpy Hotel in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
HotSports: Congratulations on your honorary award from your alma mater, University of Uyo.
Enyeama: To God be the glory, it’s something that I really appreciate. It means a whole lot to me and I want to say a big thank you, I want to thank everyone responsible for that. God bless you guys. It makes me feel glad, it makes me feel like over all these years, certain people still deemed it fit that I deserve an honorary award for contributing to society. It’s something good, something great for me. I feel great that they considered me deserving of such a reputable honorary award. It makes me feel very good.
HotSports: Looking back at your career success, do you feel personally accomplished?
Enyeama: I feel accomplished. I feel very accomplished. It’s not easy to achieve the feat that I have achieved all these years. It’s not an easy feat. To God be the glory, I went through all these years, achieved the glories, achieved all the laurels, achieved everything that I’ve got and that makes me feel great.
HotSports: What would you consider as some of the greatest moments of your football career?
Enyeama: I had so many great moments in my career. The truth is that I can’t really specify or single out any particular one as special. But AFCON 2013 remains one of the best moments because we won that trophy and Enyimba 2003 and 2004 also paint a good memory in my career history because we emerged champions of the continent by winning the CAF Champions League twice. These are very memorable moments among other moments for me.
HotSports: Close watchers of the National Team feel your unexpected exit from the Super Eagles has contributed to the sharp drop in our goalkeeping department. What’s your take on that?
Enyeama: Sincerely, I’ve not been following Nigerian football right from the day I left and with due respect, I was really treated like shh…??? I mean I was treated like a piece of used material, so I decided to put a block between me and the National Team and that went on for long. It’s now that I’m beginning to follow the goings-on from a distance. But I really put a stop to watching Nigerian football and the National Team because I was deeply hurt. It’s now I’m really becoming gradually at ease. I think I have made personal changes to move on and change chapters and pages to slowly reconcile myself with the system. To state the fact, I can’t really say much about the National Team and the goalkeeping and all of that because I am not watching them.
HotSports: The transformation from a footballer to a successful businessman after retirement.
Enyeama: To God be the glory. It has turned out really good. Sometimes you dive into the deep … you delve into the deep without really knowing what’s in there … what’s out there… you really don’t know. So I give God the glory at the end of it all, it came out really good. I don’t really know what to say, but it’s a great transformation from football to being in the hotel business. It’s like two different fields… but it’s been well… it’s been really well. I think I have a lot of experience from France in estate management. I’ve been an estate manager even while I was playing football. I have a couple of experience in managing property. I guess that was what helped me to transit easily.
HotSports: Your advice to your fans and the younger generation.
Enyeama: Without a positive mindset, you can’t achieve anything in life. That’s the truth. You can never be negative and achieve positive… positive attracts positive… negative attracts negative, so it’s just the energy you give that you will get back. To God be the glory, I’ve been on that trail and it’s really taking me through. I will encourage the young ones to stay true to themselves, believe in their future, believe in their dreams, never give up, and fight for all they’ve got … that’s been my stuff.