Speaking as part of an extensive exclusive interview with Get French Football News, ex-Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama discusses his unadulterated love for football.
“I was not out to prove people wrong, I was just out to enjoy. I love football so much that every time I kept a clean sheet I was rejoicing. It was part of my life. When I was conceding goals I was crying behind the scenes at home, because it is the thing that I love. I don’t want to concede a goal. Sincerely I didn’t care who was taking notes, not taking notes… My joy was having my kids watch me play. Sincerely I am always this guy who lives for the next day. A lot of people say I didn’t lose, I’ve learned. I am this guy. I learned from every game that I played… The night after a game I would sit in front of the computer one hour, two hour looking back at the game, searching for replays, checking out what I should have done better. I was this guy. My job was always don’t get it wrong.”
“So when I got it wrong I kicked myself so hard, I would get my head down in books. You know sometimes I just Google (Iker) Casillas and see what he did, I would Google Buffon, I would Google a whole lot of goalkeepers, it was study time for me. I was hard on myself: ‘Vincent, you should have done this.’ But after that moment I let it go, because I know I want to hear the roars of the fans again. I want to hear them singing and chanting for me, for the fans to be happy. I know I want my children to be in school the following day and their friends will tell them ‘Daddy did so well, he played very good.’ So I live for the next match, that was motivation, that was the thing drilled in my head and made me prepare mentally.”
“I was telling my wife the other day that I made a mistake in my career. I should have taken out time to appreciate my great exploits, my great games. I should have taken out time to appreciate myself, value myself more. For me every game was just a game and then its gone…”
“I have the best family in the whole world. I don’t know about yours, my family is amazing, my wife is exceptional. I am so lucky to be married to her. Because if I sit in the study until 3am, she’s going to sit in the salon until 3am waiting for me. Exceptional. She’s going to say listen I can’t let you sit there alone. I know you are checking what you did, what was wrong, what was good. I can’t let you sit alone. I am going to sit and wait for you… So she was always there inspirationally, she was always there to help me, to push me through.”