New Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Odinaka Uzoho cannot wait to meet his goalkeeping idol Vincent Enyeama.
The 19-year old has impressed in his first two games for Nigeria’s senior national team – the friendly wins over Argentina and Poland – and he is on the road to becoming the first goalkeeper whose name is not Enyeama to play for Nigeria at the World Cup in sixteen years.
The Deportivo Fabril star had told ACLSports that Enyeama, contracted to French club Lille is the one he looks up to in our recent interview with him in Wroclaw (https://www.aclsports.com/i-not-mad-says-eagles-goalkeeper-uzoho/) and he is hopeful of meeting him some day.
“I have never had the chance to speak with him. I have never met him before,” Uzoho told www.aclsports.com “Yes he is my hero but I’ve not had the chance to meet him and of course I will like to meet him, like, I’ll be honoured to meet him,” he added with a visible sense of expectation.
After showing some form of nervousness in the first half of Nigeria’s win over Poland on Friday, the lanky Under-17 World Cup winner showed his qualities in the second half to endear himself more into the hearts of Nigerians.
Uzoho’s big moment came ten minutes after the break when he denied Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski from point blank range.
55' Poland 0-0 Nigeria #POLNGA
— ACLSports (@acl_sports) March 23, 2018
“You need calmness. Many goalkeepers I watch in that situation are actually calm,” said Uzoho while talking about the one-on-one situations.
“So many goalkeepers in that situation lose their calmness and they don’t know what to do at that point. If you stay long for a while, you will probably be able to intimidate the striker and save the ball.”
Asked what would happen if he meets a certain Lionel Messi in a one-on-one situation in Russia?
“(Laughs) I will do my job. I will do what I have to do in a one-on-one situation with Messi like I was taught in my club and here (in Nigerian camp). If I win the challenge, fine. If I don’t, it’s okay.”
With his displays in the two games, he looks almost certain to be among Nigeria’s three goalkeepers to Russia. The Aspire Academy product is however not counting his chicks before they are hatched.
“I wasn’t expecting it to be this fast,” he said about his meteoric rise. “Even till now, I’m having a free mind because I am young and I am not all that focused on the tournament so that it won’t bring me down if anything should happen at the end.
“Up till now, I’m still hoping on anything that happens at last. But I’m very happy and that’s just it.”
Uzoho and his Super Eagles teammates leave Poland on Saturday for London where they will face Serbia next Tuesday.