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FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Guinea Bissau squad for African Nations Cup
January 9, 2017 / 2:01 AM / 7 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile of Guinea Bissau squad for African Nations Cup

Jan 9 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Nations Cup qualifiers Guinea Bissau.

African Nations Cup record

Previous appearances in finals: None

Drawn in Group A with Burkina Faso, Cameroon and Gabon.

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Coach: Baciro Cande

The home-born coach took over in March when the Confederation of African Football banned his Portuguese predecessor Paulo Torres for insulting a referee and Cande continued the positive start to the preliminaries to ensure qualification with keys wins over Kenya and Zambia.

The 49-year-old won nine titles in the small west African country with Sporting Bissau, five of them in successive years.

He also had a previous stint with the national team, taking charge in 2003 aged just 36 and staying for five years.

He then went to Portugal and worked at semi-professional Oeiras before returning to work at Sporting Bissau.

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Key player: Francisco Junior. Age: 24. Central Midfield.

Born in Bissau, Francisco Santos da Silva Junior moved to Portugal at a young age, played for their junior teams and was in the youth academy at Benfica.

His profile attracted interest from across Europe including a spell training at Manchester City which resulted in a large compensation fee, but he signed for Everton instead.

But he found it hard to adjust and after several loan spells was released, moving to Stromsgodset in Norway.

His work rate, tackling ability and passing prowess mean he can really shine at the Nations Cup, if he can show some of the consistency so far missing in a checker career.

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FIFA world ranking Dec. 2016: 68

How they qualified: Fist place in Group E, ahead of Congo, Zambia and Kenya.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Rui Dabo (Cova da Piedade), Papa Masse Mbaye Fall (CD Orellana Costa Dulce), Jonas Mendes (Salgueiros)

Defenders: Mamadu Cande (Tondela), Tomas dabo (Arouca), Eridson (Freamunde), Emmanuel Mendy, Rudinilson Silva (both unattached), Agostinho Soares (Sporting Covilha), Juary Soares (Mafra)

Midfielders: Bocundji Ca (unattached), Idrissa Camara (Avellino), Francisco Junior (Stromsgodset), Nani (Felgueiras), Piqueti (Sporting Braga), Sana (Academica Viseu), Toni Silva, Zezinho (both Levadiakos)

Strikers: Aldair (Olhanense), Abel Camara (Belenenses), João Mario (Chaves), Fredric Mendy (Ulsan Hyundai), Sami (Akhisar Belediyespor) (Compiled by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Brian Homewood)

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