Vincent Enyeama became the first Nigerian, the first goalkeeper and first player from English speaking Africa to be named France’s Ligue 1 African player of the season on Monday.
The 31-year-old, who is set to feature at the World Cup finals for his country in June, has played all 37 championship games for his club Lille this season conceding just 25 goals. At one point this season — which comes to an end next weekend — he went 1,062 minutes without conceding a goal in the championship. He won the Marc-Vivien Foe award — named after the Cameroon international midfielder who died aged 28 of a heart attack during the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final — ahead of Ivory Coast defender Serge Aurier, who plays for Toulouse, and Lyon’s Cameroon defender Henri Bedimo. Enyeama, who captained Nigeria to Africa Cup of Nations success last year, succeeds Borussia Dortmund’s Gabonese international striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who won it after a successful season with St Etienne last season. The award is voted on by 60 journalists from all branches of media and is co-sponsored by Radio France Internationale (RFI) and France24 TV news channel.