Enyeama aims to end Nigeria career on a high

Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria
Vincent Enyeama of Nigeria

Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama hopes to bow out on a high after confirming that the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon will be his last.

The 32-year-old goalkeeper, who plays his club football for French side Lille, made his debut against Kenya in May 2002 and has gone on to win 100 caps.

Enyeama played a major role when the Super Eagles won the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa and he wants a repeat in 2017.

"It's impossible to play football forever and the next tournament in Gabon will be my last one," Enyeama told BBC Sport.

"I've lost in the semi-final in 2004, won in 2013 and to win in 2017 is how I hope to be remembered.

"But more significantly we must not get ahead of ourselves because we need to qualify first."

As reigning champions Nigeria could not defend their title in Equatorial Guinea early this year after failing to qualify for the tournament.

The Super Eagles have been drawn in one of the toughest-looking groups for the 2017 Nations Cup qualifiers, alongside seven-time champions Egypt, Chad and Tanzania.

But as the Super Eagles host Chad in Kaduna on Saturday, Enyeama insists they must prevent another troubled campaign.

"You can never underestimate any opponent in African football and we must treat Chad like other top oppositions in world football," he said.

"Some of our fans are still upset and the only way to earn back their respect is to give them a reason to believe again.

"We are all determined to qualify for the Nations Cup, and after the tournament I can say a proper goodbye.

"It crossed my mind to leave after the World Cup in Brazil but crucially now I want to leave on a high by going all the way with my country on a successful ride."

Enyeama has played in five Nations Cup tournaments for three-time African champions Nigeria in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013.

He was part of the Nigeria squad at the 2002, 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.

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