- Vincent Enyeama was in goal against Argentina at the 2014 World Cup
- Lionel Messi netted twice to help his side win 3-2
- Enyeama and Messi were pictured severally having some sort of chit-chat
Former Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has stated that there was mutual respect between himself and Argentina’s Lionel Messi right after the group game at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.
Nigeria and Argentina faced-of at the world stage in 2014 with La Albiceleste winning 3-2, with Messi putting two past Enyeama who had the best pair of hands in the world as at that time.
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The Barcelona man rifled the ball into the net barely 3 minutes into the encounter when he latched onto the ball which came off the woodwork from a Angel Di Maria strike, and less than a minute later, Ahmed Musa struck back to put the game level 1-1.
The highly entertaining match saw Enyeama at his best as he made breathtaking saves parrying a Di Maria low drive late on before denying Messi from a freekick.
However, on the stroke of half-time, Messi expertly curled the ball into the net from a dangerous free kick as Enyeama was rooted to the spot, but two minutes into the restart, Musa yet again scored, having received a delicious pass from Emmanuel Emenike to make it 2-2.
Marcus Rojo’s goal in the 50th minute goal ensured the South Americans defeated the Africans yet again, but according to Enyeama, that game was about Messi and himself.
“I mean the pre-match analysis, pre-match briefing and others were all about Messi and Vincent,” the former Lille goalkeeper told Legit.ng from his base.
Recall that before that match, Messi and Enyeama had faced off during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In that game, Argentina defeated Nigeria 1-0 courtesy a Gabriel Heinze strike in the 6th minute.
Messi was at his best in that encounter as he mesmerized the Nigerian defense on several occasions, but failed to score, with Enyeama making breathtaking performances that earned him the man-of-the-match award.
And that set up a fierce battle four years later with the 2014 edition expected to be explosive; however finally Messi scored- not once, but twice.
“When he scored, the first goal was more of a lucky one," Enyeama continued. "But the second goal (free kick) was from a zone where you can’t anticipate.
“He had a free kick in a red zone and we conceded from there. It’s the same zone Beckham (David) shoots his free kick; same spot, but on the other side. For very good free kick takers, it is more or less like a penalty.”
Before and during the game, Messi and Enyeama were pictured in some sort of chit-chat, but when asked what they were talking about, the Nigerian goalkeeper said he didn’t understand the Argentine player’s language.
“My brother I no know o," Enyeama giggled. "He was speaking Spanish, I was speaking English. He was speaking Spanish, I was speaking English.
"All you need to understand is that there was respect. World’s best player, seeing world best goalkeeper as at that time, what else – respect,” Enyeama concluded.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the goalkeeper has disclosed that he would love to play in the English Premier League before he finally retires from football.
The 37-year-old disclosed this on a live Instagram chat with Legit.ng on Saturday afternoon, May 2, as he claimed he turned down offers from English clubs because the details were not right for him.
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