FC Girondins Bordeaux centre back and Mozambican international Edson Andre Sitoe, more commonly known as ‘Mexer’, believes his country has what it takes to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cameroon in 2021.
The ‘Mambas’ take on Guinea-Bissau on October 8 and Angola on October 13 in Lisbon, Portugal next month in preparation for their AFCON qualifiers against Cameroon in November.
Mozambique kicked off their bid to reach the continental finals with a 2-0 win over Rwanda and currently sit top of a group that also features Cape Verde.
“It’s in our blood to give our all, though, and to believe that we can do it. You just never know,” said ‘Mexer’.
“We’ve missed too many continental finals in the last few years and it’s time we make amends. I get the sense that the wind is blowing in a different direction now. I’m optimistic.
“We’ve been through some tough times but we’ve now got lots of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the national team. Just as we had back then, we’ve got some quality youngsters who want to succeed and who are benefitting from playing in Europe, most of them in Portugal,” he added.
Born in the capital, Maputo, in 1988, ‘Mexer’ (‘The Restless One’) has become a mainstay of the national team and he is one of the few members of the current squad who featured at the 2010 AFCON.
The central defender, who has earned 50 caps and scored three goals for his country, has also established himself in Europe, France, which is the promised land for every young Mozambican player.
“I’ve been in France for six years now and I feel as settled in the league as I do in the country itself. And if the experience I’m picking up in Europe can help Mozambique, then so much the better.
“That’s what our national team is lacking. Obviously, the Mozambique fans expect a lot of me because I play in Europe, but I feel that brings me more support than pressure. I feel like there’s a lot of respect for me.
“Mozambique means so much to me. The emotion never changes when you play for the national team. It’s special. It’s overwhelming,” concluded ‘Mexer’.
RELATED STORY: Mozambique coach wary of competitive Angola, Guinea-Bissau
By FARPost Reporter