Vincent Enyeama Joins Ligue 1 Champion Lille
Nigerian international goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has joined French champions Lille for an undisclosed fee from Israel’s Hapoel Tel Aviv. The goalkeeper has penned a 3 year deal with the Ligue 1 champions.
The 28-year-old says he is excited with the opportunity of playing in the French league with the club.
“It feels good to be here and the chance to play in a competitive league makes it very exciting for me. The club is magnificent. I feel welcomed and accepted – even before the medical – and that is a positive sign.
“Interestingly, it is a club brimming with so much talent and I hope to bring the best of my ability to ensure a progressive step for the team. The fact that they won the league-and-cup double shows how much progress they have made, but I am extremely proud to be around winners and win trophies here as well.
“I considered a lot of things before coming here. I also spoke to Osaze (Odemwingie) and he told me many positive things about the club. The choice and decision was easy – this is a club with so many promises and I feel honoured to be here. The opportunity of playing in the UEFA Champions League is also appealing I must confess.”
Enyeama has been the Super Eagles’ first-choice goalkeeper since 2002 and experienced six years in the Israeli league, where he first tasted European club football. He won the Israeli league in 2010 and enjoyed back-to-back Israeli cup success both last year and this.
“It is a big challenge for me but I’m confident – a different league but I’m prepared for the challenges ahead.
“I’ll miss my friends in Israel and my family also have friends there but in football change is constant.”
Enyeama burst into international light after putting a string of good performances in the 2010 FIFA World Cup where his heroics against Argentina [in a match that Nigeria lost 1-0] saved his team from suffering an embarrassing defeat.
French champions Lille have further strengthened their squad by signing Czech defender David Rozehnal.
“I am very happy to be able to prolong my story at Lille. It is great news for me and for my career but also for my private life because my family feels very much at home in Lille,” said Rozehnal.
The pair join another recent signing in Dimitri Payet from St Etienne as manager Rudi Garcia looks to guide his side to back-to-back titles.