African All Stars

Reinildo Mandava: Atletico Madrid sign Mozambique defender from Lille

08:28 SAST 2022/02/01
Reinildo Mandava
After four seasons in the French elite division, the 28-year-old African will continue his professional career at the Wanda Metropolitano

La Liga giants Atletico Madrid have announced the signing of Reinildo Mandava from Ligue 1 outfit Lille.

The Mozambique international penned a three-and-a-half-year contract with the Mattress Makers which will keep him at the Wanda Metropolitano until 2026.

“Atletico de Madrid have reached an agreement with Lille for the transfer of Reinildo Mandava. The footballer, born in Beira (Mozambique, January 21, 1994), signs until 2025,” a statement from the Spanish elite division website read.

“He joins our team a physically very strong player who takes up a lot of space on the left side. Defensively, he is a player who is very difficult to overcome and very forceful in one on ones.

“In addition, his good physical conditions make him cover the entire left flank, joining the attack.

“Reinildo Mandava highlighted in his native country, first at Ferroviario da Beira, in his city, and later at Grupo Desportivo Maputo.

“This made him land in Portuguese football where he was able to grow in several teams: Benfica B, Fafe, Sporting Covilha and Belenenses.”

Mandava’s presence will help reinforce the backline of Diego Simeone’s men – who are aiming to win a 12th league title this term.

The 28-year-old initially joined Lille on loan in 2018 from Belenenses SAD, and in January 2019 he moved to Mastiffs permanently.

The African star played a crucial role in helping the French team win the league title in the 2020-21 campaign – featuring in 29 league matches.

“Last season he was one of the pillars of Lille to win the French league. Also, last season, he played a total of 35 games, owning Lille's left-back and being named in the Ligue 1 XI of the Year as a left-back,” Atleti’s statement continued.

“He is a player with experience in Europe. He played in the Europa League with Lille, and this season he has played all six games in the Champions League group stage.

“We add to our team a footballer with great power, capable of covering the entire left flank and who is very difficult to beat thanks to his good physique.

“In addition, he is very good with his head thanks to his jumping power, which makes him a sure thing in the aerial game and a danger from set-pieces in attack.”

Barring any obstacles, Mandava could make his debut for Atletico Madrid against Barcelona on February 6.