The Lille goalkeeper has cautioned against making comparisons between him and the Italian shot stopper ahead of Monday’s clash in London
By Kolade Oni
Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has said he is miles away from being compared with Italian number one Gianluigi Buffon ahead of their international friendly in London on Monday night.
Buffon, 35, made his debut for the Italian senior national team in 1997 in a World Cup qualifier against Russia in Moscow after he was called up to replace injured Gianluca Pagliuca and has never looked back since.
On the other hand, Enyeama made his debut for Nigeria at the 2002 World Cup against England in a third group match where he shut out David Beckham and others for a goalless draw. He led Nigeria to their third African title in February.
Speaking to Goal, Enyeama said it would be massive playing Italy in a friendly match but he was quick to down-play any comparison with Buffon who won the World Cup in 2006.
Enyeama has kept seven straight clean sheets for Lille in the French top division coming into the international break. He also helped Nigeria to a 2-0 victory over Ethiopia on Saturday as they got their fifth World Cup ticket 4-1 on aggregate.
He praised the discipline and dedication of the Juventus shot stopper but added that all respect for the Italians would be forgotten as soon as both teams step out onto the pitch.
"I am happy that we are playing a high profile friendly against Italy. We have an opportunity to play against a renowned country and former World and European champions, Enyeama told Goal.
"There is no battle between me and Buffon because we are in two different worlds. He is a good goalkeeper no doubt about that but it would be an unnecessary distraction comparing me with the Italian goalkeeper.
"I expect an exciting match but the battle is beyond two individuals," he said.