Eagles Face Monaco’s Pelé As Major Threat In Guinea Bissau’s AFCON Team

Eagles Face Monaco’s Pelé As Major Threat In Guinea Bissau’s AFCON Team

The Super Eagles of Nigeria may be in for a major threat from AS Monaco of France midfielder, Pelé during the Africa Cup of Nations, as the enterprising youngster is part of the roster named for the competition by Guinea Bissau.

Nigeria and Guinea Bissau will clash in their last group match in the first round of action at Cameroon 2021, ahead of which the Spanish-speaking West African nation’s coach, Baciro Candé named Pelé in a 24-player squad tagged ‘The Djurtus.’

Megasportsarena.com gathered that Pelé, whose real name is Judilson Mamadu Tuncará Gomes, was born on September 29, 1991 in Agualva-Cacém, Portugal and stands at a height of 1.82 m (6 ft 0 in).

The enterprising midfielder started his career with CF Belenenses of Portugal in 2009, following which he had stints with Genoa and AC Milan as well as Arsenal Kiev on loan, before returning to the country of his birth in 2013.

He had further spells on loan in Portugal with Olhanense, Belenenses, Benfica, Paços Ferreira, Feirense and Rio Ave, before joining Monaco in 2019, but was loaned to Nottingham Forest and Reading of England in quick succession, then back to Rio Ave for the current season.

Pelé played twice for Portugal in the 2010 UEFA European U-19 Championship qualification, as a substitute in both game, but was not selected for either the final tournament or elite qualifying phase.

He was then picked for a warm-up friendly before the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup, which happened to be 3–3 draw with France, following which he appeared in all their matches in the finals in Colombia as Portugal finished second.

Pelé then switched nationality and made his debut for Guinea-Bissau on June 10, 2017 in a 1–0 win over Namibia during the 2019 Cup of Nations qualifiers, following which he was selected by Candé for the finals in Egypt and played all their three group games.

Although Pelé is officially registered with Monaco, he is part of the half of Candé’s selection that is based in Portugal, from where FC Porto defender, Nanu and Alfa Semedo of Vitoria Guimaraes hold sway, while Stade de Reims midfielder Moreto Cassama is also called up from France.

Alloa Athletic defender Fernandy Mendy and Plymouth Argyle midfielder Panutche Camara are the only two British-based players in the squad, for which goalkeeper Jonas Mendes as well as forwards Piqueti and Fredric Mendy are in line to feature at a third successive Nations Cup.

Cande is looking to lead the West African nation past the group stage for the first time, but he faces daunting odds against three-time champions and eternal bronze medalists Nigeria in Group D, alongside seven-time winners Egypt and former African lords Sudan, who lifted the trophy in 1970.

The tournament, in Cameroon, kicks off on 9 January, with Guinea-Bissau facing Sudan in their first game two days later, before taking on Nigeria in their second match and then end first round action against 2019 hosts Egypt.

Goalkeepers: Jonas Mendes (Beira Mar, Portugal), Maurice Gomis (Ayia Napa FC, Cyprus), Manuel Mama Samba Balde (Vizela, Portugal).

Defenders: Nanu (FC Porto, Portugal), Fali Cande (Portimonense, Portugal), Sori Mane (Moreirense, Portugal), Leonel Ucha (Marinhense, Portugal), Simao Junior (Vilafranquense, Portugal), Opa Sangatte (Chateauroux, France), Jefferson Encada (Leixoes, Portugal), Fernandy Mendy (Alloa Athletic, Scotland).

Midfielders: Pele (AS Monaco, France), Bura (Farense, Portugal), Joao Jaquite (Vilafranquense, Portugal), Moreto Cassama (Stade de Reims, France), Alfa Semedo (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Panutche Camara (Plymouth Argyle, England).

Forwards: Mama Balde (Troyes, France), Piqueti (Al Shoulla, Saudi Arabia), Jorginho (Wisla Plock, Poland), Mauro Rodrigues (Sion, Switzerland), Joseph Mendes (Niort, France), Steve Ambri (Sochaux, France), Frederic Mendy (Vitoria Setubal, Portugal).
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