“Playing against Messi Compensates,” Talented Nigerian Goalkeeper who Never featured for Senior Team Claims


Despite a sterling career for Nigeria’s U17, U20 MNTs and winning silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, goalkeeper Ambrose Vanzekin never got a call up to the Super Eagles, but he insists he has no regrets.

Vanzekin, who is now a goalkeeper coach with NPFL side Bendel Insurance, told FL the rivalry in the Super Eagles was fierce and unseating then first choice, Vincent Enyeama, was almost impossible.

“We had a great number 1 then in (Vincent) Enyeama, who I still look up to; he is my idol. I like the way he did his things,” Vanzekin recalls.

“I did not feel bad, but I thank God for the opportunities given me to play for the other teams. It is not easy to play against Messi twice, it is not easy, that one is enough for me to be a great man in Nigeria.”

“So, I don’t look back and feel bad, the little I achieved in Nigeria, I appreciate,” Vanzekin explained. “I had fulfilling experiences at the U17, U20 and the Olympics, where I brought back a silver medal.

“I am an Olympian, many Nigerians don’t know that I am an Olympian. They don’t give me the honour of an Olympian, they don’t even treat us as Olympians.”


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