By MADUABUCHI KALU
Former Super Eagles’ skipper and goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama has finally opened up on his rumoured national team return by giving the Technical Adviser of the team, Gernot Rohr and the country’s football governing body, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) condition for his return to the squad.
According to the 2013 Africa Cup Nations winner, he will only consider returning to the national team set-up if he is 100 per cent fit and in good form for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
It is recalled that the former Enyimba goalkeeper voluntarily retired from the national team in controversial circumstance due to misunderstanding with the then coach and former captain of the team, Sunday Ogochukwu Oliseh, in October 2015, but the Akwa Ibom State-born shot stopper has since been linked with a recall to the Super Eagles for Russia 2018.
According to a source form the NFF, Enyeama is willing to return but he has told Rohr that he would only make a return to the Super Eagles if he feels fit and good enough to be the first choice goalkeeper for the team for the World Cup.
In the words of the NFF source who does not want his name on print for lack of clearance from the body: “Vincent is working hard to regain his fitness and form before giving his final answer to Rohr on his likely recall to the Super Eagles. He wants to merit his recall and not rejoin the team based on emergency.
He has resumed training after undergoing surgery and may probably return to action with a new club,” the NFF source said.
“The former Super Eagles’ skipper has told Rohr to watch his recovery and invite him only if he is fit and good for a return. He insisted that he would not return to the national team if he is not convinced that he is ready for the World Cup and will help the team.”
Oracle Today can reveal that Rohr is determined to take Enyeama to the World Cup in Russia as his experience will be very valuable for the Super Eagles hence the overture to the two time CAF Champions League winner.
The source furtherdisclosed that Rohr has made up his mind on taking Enyeama to the World Cup, adding that only the return to action of Carl Ikeme, who is currently undergoing treatment for acute leukemia, can change his mind on the goalkeeping issue.
It is recalled that the call for Enyeama’s recall to the national team set got a boast after Eagles’ 2019 Nations Cup Qualifying match against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Uyo where the team suffered a 2-0 defeat in the hands of the South Africans for the very first time in competitive game.
Most people believe that the team’s defeat in the hands of the Bafana Bafana was mainly due to poor goalkeeping by the Chipa United FC of South Africa goalkeeper, Daniel Akpeyi, hence the need for Enyeama to come back to the squad. Only time can tell whether Enyeama would make the 2018 FIFA World Cup or not even as Nigerians are divided over the proposal for his return to the team.