Super Eagles goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama has been ranked as the greatest African goalkeeper in history by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
The decision was made based on his outstanding performances for both club and country during a career spanning over a decade. Enyeama played for several clubs, including Enyimba International, Bnei Yehuda, Hapoel Tel Aviv, and Lille, among others.
He represented the Nigerian national team in three World Cup tournaments and played a key role in the team’s victory in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
The IFFHS, a non-profit organization based in Germany that ranks the performance of football players and coaches worldwide, selected Enyeama ahead of other legendary African goalkeepers such as Joseph-Antoine Bell, Thomas N’Kono, and Essam El-Hadary.
Enyeama’s remarkable career as a goalkeeper is supported by his numerous individual awards, including being named the best goalkeeper in the Israeli Premier League three times and the best goalkeeper in Ligue 1 in the 2013-2014 season.
He also holds the record for the most clean sheets in a season in the French top flight, with 21 shutouts in 2013-2014.
Enyeama is often regarded as Nigeria’s greatest goalkeeper ever and is considered by many as Lille’s finest of all time. His achievement is a significant recognition of the talents and contributions of African players to football.
It is also a reminder of the importance of acknowledging the accomplishments of footballers beyond the major leagues in Europe and South America.
The IFFHS All-Time Ranking, covering the period from 1987 to 2022, includes the best goalkeepers from other regions, such as Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) for UEFA, Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay) for CONMEBOL, Mohamed Abdullaziz Al-Deayea (Saudi Arabia) for AFC, Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) for CONCACAF, and Mark Bosnich (Australia) for Oceania.