Meet Jonas Ramalho, Angola’s latest addition

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Over the years we have seen a number of players switching international allegiance from one country to another due to a number of reasons and Angola is one of the countries that have long adopted a policy of recruiting players with Angolan roots from around the world.

Spain-born central defender Jonas Ramalho is the latest player to be capped by the Southern African country having recently made his debut on the 13th of October in an international friendly game against Mozambique played in Lisbon.

Ramalho was born in Spain to Angolan parents and he was first called up to the national team in 2019 towards the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt, but he was unfortunately one of three players who were left out of the final team for the tournament. The 27-year-old has presented Spain at youth level from U-16, 17, 18 up to the U-19 national team, but opted to then represent the country of his father at senior level.

The defender went through the ranks at Spanish side Athletic Bilbao. In fact he is the 5th most capped player to have ever played for the Spanish club with 177 appearances and he is surpassed only by Borja Garcia (192), Migue Gonzalez (226), Alex Pons (210) and Alex Granell (232).

After a successful loan spell where he played 61 games the former Bilbao centre back decided to sign a permanent deal with ‘The Catalans’ and he has since played 98 games scoring three goals in the four years spent with the Segunda Liga club.

Angola is building a squad for the upcoming World Cup and AFCON 2022 qualifiers and having already recruited a number of European based players like Germany-based defender Anderson Licoqui and together with players like Zito Luvumbo the team is headed in the right direction.

Lazio defender Bartolomeu Jacinto Quissanga, also known as ‘Bastos’, is the leader of the team marshalling all the new players through his experience playing in Italy’s Serie A and in the national team.

By Prince Sobayeni

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