June 18, 2019 / 2:03 AM / a month ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Profile on Guinea Bissau team for 2019 African Cup of Nations

June 18 (Reuters) - Factbox on African Cup of Nations qualifiers Guinea Bissau

African Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (1) 2017

Best performance: Group phase

Drawn in Group F with Benin, Cameroon and Ghana.

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Coach: Baciro Cande

Homegrown coach Cande has become a national hero in the former Portuguese colony for engineering back-to-back qualification for the African Cup of Nations after decades of being one of the continent’s whipping boys.

The 52-year-old won nine titles in the small west African country with Sporting Bissau, five of them in successive years.

He had a previous stint as coach of the national team from 2003-2008 aged 36.

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Key player: Pele. Age: 27. Central Midfield.

Portuguese-born Judilson Mamadu Tuncara Gomes had just turned 17 when he made his league debut with Belenenses and two years later played in the Portugal side that lost 3-2 in extra time to Brazil in the final of the 2011 U-20 World Cup in Colombia.

AC Milan signed him straight after but he never played for the club, loaned out instead as his status as teenage prodigy failed to kick on at senior level.

He did not play at Benfica either after they signed him in 2015 and has had just a handful of appearances for Monaco since he moved there two years ago. For the last six months he was on loan at Nottingham Forest.

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FIFA world ranking June 2019: 118

How they qualified: Top placed team in Group K, ahead of Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia. Squad:

Goalkeepers: Edimar Vieira Ca (UDIB), Rui Dabo (Desportivo Fabril), Jonas Mendes (Academica Viseu)

Defenders: Mamadu Cande (Santa Clara), Tomas Dabo (FC Rieti), Marcelo Djalo (Fulham), Nadjack (Rio Ave), Nanu (Marítimo), Rudinilson Silva (Kaunas Zalgiris), Juary Soares (Mafra)

Midfielders: Bura (Desportivo Aves), Moreto Cassama (Stade Reims), Joao Jaquite (Tondela), Sori Mane (Cova da Piedade), Pele (Monaco), Piqueti (Al Shoulla), Toni Silva (Al Ittihad), Zezinho (Senica)

Forwards: Mama Balde (Desportivo Aves), Romario Balde (Academica Coimbra), Jorginho Intima (CSKA Sofia), Joseph Mendes (AJ Ajaccio), Frederic Mendy (Vitoria Setubal). (Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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