Factbox on Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers Guinea Bissau.

Africa Cup of Nations record:

Previous appearances in finals: (3) 2017, 2019, 2021

Best performance: Group phase

Drawn in Group A with Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and Nigeria.

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Coach: Baciro Cande

The home-born coach has become a national hero in the former Portuguese colony for engineering four successive qualifications for the Cup of Nations finals after decades of being one of the continent’s whipping boys. The 56-year-old, who played in Portugal’s lower leagues, won nine league titles in the small west African country with Sporting Bissau, five of them in successive years. He also had a previous stint as coach of the national team, taking charge from 2003-2008 aged just 36.

Key player: Mama Balde. Age: 28. Striker.

Started his career in the academy at Sporting Lisbon but made his top flight debut at Desportivo Alves before moving to France in 2019 with Dijon then Troyes and is now at Olympique Lyonnais. He is on loan from Troyes after their relegation last season with Lyon winning the race to sign him ahead of several other suitors. He made his debut for Guinea Bissau just ahead of the 2019 Cup of Nations finals in Egypt and also played at the last tournament in Cameroon two years ago.

FIFA world ranking Dec 2023: 103

How they qualified: Second team in Group A behind Nigeria but ahead of Sierra Leone and Sao Tome e Principe.


Goalkeepers: Ouparine Djoco (Royal Francs Borains), Fernando Embadje (Alcanenense), Jonas Mendes (Kalamata)

Defenders: Fali Cande (Metz), Marcelo Djalo (Palencia), Jefferson Encada (Pharco), Edgar Ie (Basaksehir), Houboulang Mendes (Almeria), Nanu (Samsunspor), Nito (Maritimo), Opa Sangante (Dunkerque)

Midfielders: Janio Bikel (Gaziantep), Morreto Cassama (Omonia Nicosia), Dalcio (Apoel Nicosia), Carlos Mane (Kayserispor), Sori Mane (Academico Viseu), Carlos Mendes (Bolton Wanderers), Mauro Rodrigues (Yverdon Sport), Alfa Semedo (Al Tai)

Forwards: Mama Balde (Olympique Lyonnais), Franculino (Midtjylland), Zinho Gano (Zulte Waregem), Famana Quizera (Academico Viseu), Marciano Sanca (Almeria), Ze Turbo (FC Pari Nizhniy Novgorod)



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