Former Lille and Nigeria captain Vincent Enyeama says he has set his sights on a return to competitive football two years after making his last competitive appearance for Lille.

It was widely believed that the 36-year was out of the sport, with retirement on the horizon but Enyeama believes he has what it takes to play on for a few more years.

“I have put the past behind me as I continue to train and hoping to make a positive return,” Enyeama told BBC Sport, denying reports he was about to quit the game.

“I’ve received some offers in Israel and Turkey. But at this stage in life, I want to make family a priority when I need to make a move because they are very settled here in France.

“The way I play football is with a smile and I would love to do that knowing my family is happy and settled.”

Enyeama believes goalkeepers get better with age and as such his age (36 years) should not scupper any deal he intends to sign in the coming days.

“Goalkeepers have a long lifespan in football and I believe I still have so much to offer,” he insisted.

“I’d be the first to stop when I know I cannot give my best. I continue to train at home hoping for the best.”

The former Enyimba goalkeeper joined Lille from Isreali side Hapoel Tel Aviv in June 2011 and made 164 appearances, but he and 10 other players were told to look for a new club by former boss Marcelo Bielsa at the start of the 2017/18 season.

“The way things ended at Lille was disappointing, it was sad to leave the club alongside others who gave everything; without the chance to say a proper goodbye to the fans,” he added.

“You are recovering (from an injury) after giving so much to the club and suddenly everything ended like that, respectful football decisions are made – with a new manager and project on the table.

“I quite understand and respect that, yet it was not the kind of end you would want for a beautiful story but this is football.

“I always share positive energy every time I get a chance to see some of our fans, it is a good bond that will always live with me.”

At the international level, Enyeama no longer plays for the Super Eagles after announcing his international retirement in 2015.

He is well respected in his home country and regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation.

He helped Nigeria win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, where he emerged as the tournament’s best goalkeeper.

He played in five Nations Cup tournaments – in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2013 – and was part of the Nigeria squad at the 2002, 2010 and 2014 World Cup tournaments.

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