Nelson Manuel: I’m honored to play for Mozambique

Nelson Manuel - Mozambique

Mozambique was the first team to clinch their place in the final four of the Beach Soccer Africa Cup of Nations, Senegal 2021. Nelson Manuel, Textafrica Chimoio player was the man to thank for this feat. The Mozambican defender has already scored 8 goals in the tournament to top the scorers’ chart.

Mozambique secured their historic qualification after beating Morocco 2-1 on Tuesday in Saly. After the game, Nelson Manuel told CAFOnline.com he was delighted with his side’s success and talked about his upcoming ambition with the Mambas.

“It’s an honor to represent Mozambique at this time. This unique moment is the fruit of exceptional work done by the technical team and the federation,” he said.

Our country really needed a moment of conquest like this because it is the only thing we can offer. Nelson Manuel

Mozambique is participating for the first time in Beach Soccer AFCON finals. Despite this fact, Coach Abineiro Ussaca’s men managed the feat of beating giants Morocco and Egypt, two title contenders, to finish on top of Group B.

This clearly shows the improvement initiated by this southern African country. In Mozambique, this qualification was greeted with ecstasy.

“Our country really needed a moment of conquest like this because it is the only thing we can offer,” he added.

Nelson Manuel of Mozambique challenged by Amine El Bidouri of Morocco during the 2021 Beach Soccer African Cup of Nations game between Mozambique and Morocco in Thies, Saly in Senegal on 25 May 2021 © Alain Suffo

Manuel caused a lot of problems for Egypt, Seychelles and Morocco defenses. He scored four goals against Egypt and repeated the feat against Seychelles. But overall, Mozambique were up to the intensions they made clear after the finals’ draw.

At that time, coach Ussaca said “Some people think it's the group of death group. But for me, each team wants to fight to reach the final.”

And Mozambique believed in its coach’s words and managed to overcome the group favorites to reach the semifinals in grand style.

Now, their next target will be a place in the final, and consequently a ticket to represent Africa in the Beach Soccer FIFA World Cup, Russia 2021.