Mozambique’s new coach Luis Goncalves with Federation president Alberto Simango
Luis Goncalves has been named as the new coach of Mozambique, the third in the last month after the departure of Abel Xavier at the end of his contract and the abrupt termination of Victor Matine’s tenure at the helm of the Mambas.
The 47-year-old Portuguese will take charge of Mozambique’s bid to qualify for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2022 World Cup.
Only last month, Matine was named as a replacement for former Liverpool defender Abel Xavier.
However, after the Mambas were eliminated in the 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers by Madagascar, the federation president Alberto Simango had a change of heart.
Goncalves is no stranger to Mozambican football, not only born in Maputo but having worked as Xavier’s assistant from January 2016 to May 2018 after which he took up a job as the coach of China’s under-16 team.
Goncalves’ debut will come in just three weeks when Mozambique meet Mauritius over two legs in the preliminary round of the World Cup qualifiers.
In November they begin their bid to qualify for the next Cup of Nations finals in 2021, having been drawn in Group F with hosts Cameroon, Cape Verde and Rwanda.
This is his first senior role after years of coaching juniors, including his time at the Alcochet Academy at Sporting Lisbon, from where Cristiano Ronaldo first emerged.
Goncalves was also a junior coach at FC Porto, Belenenses, Estoril and Tondela – all top flight Portuguese clubs.