“It’s a big shame” – Enyeama unhappy Nigerian legends Okocha, Kanu failed to hit Super Eagles landmark

The former Lille goalkeeper is the player with the most appearances for the three-time African champion

Ex-Nigerian international Vincent Enyeama has expressed his displeasure that three of Nigeria’s greatest stars in Austin Okocha, Peter Rufai and Nwankwo Kanu, didn’t play at least a hundred matches for the Super Eagles.

In Nigeria’s seven decades history in international football, only two of the country’s greatest stars have a century of caps for the senior national team – Vincent Enyeama and Joseph Yobo.

After adorning the green and white kits for over 13 years, Okocha, arguably the most talented Nigerian player in history, only has 73 caps to show for his endeavour.

Rufai, one of Nigeria’s finest goalkeepers, represented the country at two Africa Cup of Nations and two FIFA World Cup but only boasted 65 appearances for the 1994 Afcon winner.

Kanu’s 17-year stay with the Super Eagles is one of the most enduring, but the ex-Arsenal hero has just 86 international caps to show for it.

Enyeama believes that trio and Chelsea legend John Obi Mikel would have easily hit the century mark if Nigerian football officials had not constantly hired and fire the team’s head coaches.

“One hundred caps is nothing,” Enyeama told ESPN.

“I think it is a shame that we have only two players that have played for Nigeria up to 100 times.

“It is a big shame because with the quality we have in Nigeria, we should have more. That shows that there is a lack of continuity, consistency, commitment on the part of the players and management.

“Look at other top football countries; you will find that many of their players, active and retired, have more than 100 caps.

“But we have players in Nigeria playing 10 to 15 years and still don’t get up to 100 caps because these coaches come in and change players all the time.

“Players like Jay Jay (Okocha), Peter Rufai, Kanu deserve to have more than 100 caps. It is sad that Mikel could not get up to 100 because he was very close to it. Going forward, we need to do better. We need more players to get there.”

Fatih Karagumruk forward Ahmed Musa is the player among the present Super Eagles stars closest to hitting 100 caps.

The Super Eagles skipper featured in his 98th game for the 2013 Afcon king when the Super Eagles defeated Cape Verde last week.

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