August 4, 2021

Lille left-back Reinildo survives attempted carjacking in Mozambique

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The 27-year-old was a victim of a violent incident while on holiday in his home country after winning the French top-flight crown

Lille defender Reinildo Mandava survived an attempted carjacking in Mozambique when he was going for a friend’s wedding in the province of Zambezia.

The 27-year-old recently returned to the Southeastern African country for his vacation after helping Lille win the 2020-21 French Ligue 1 title.

However, his offseason turned to a nightmare on Thursday when armed men shot at his car several times in an attempt to steal it.

He was said to be on his way to the wedding of Gildo Vilanculos – his teammate in the Mozambican national team who played for Portuguese club Maritimo.

There was no human damage aside from the bullet-riddled car.

According to reports, Reinildo spent the night at the police station and he is expected to go to Quelimane with police escort – capital of Zambezia province – on Friday before returning to his hometown Beira – the capital of Sofala Province – where he has been enjoying his holiday.

Meanwhile, Lille have confirmed the attack and they have sent their best wishes to the 27-year-old who made 29 appearances in the French top-flight last season.

“Reinildo was the victim of an attack in Mozambique on Thursday,” the club wrote on Twitter

“Fortunately the player is in good shape and we can send him our best wishes!”

Thanks to Lille’s Ligue 1 triumph, Reinildo made history as the first player from Mozambique to win any of Europe’s top five leagues.

He moved to the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on an initial loan from Portuguese club Belenenses in January 2019 and the deal was made permanent after six months.

Christophe Galtier’s side triggered the purchase option in Reinildo’s contract and handed him a three-year deal which will expire in June 2022.

His superb performances for Les Dogues last season earned him a nomination for Prix Marc-Vivien Foe (Best African player in Ligue 1) for 2021 which was later awarded to Lens’ Congolese forward Gael Kakuta. 

In addition to his recognitions, the 27-year-old made the UNFP Ligue 1’s Team of Year for the 2020-21 season alongside his teammate Benjamin Andre and Paris Saint-Germain stars Kylian Mbappe, Keylor Navas, Neymar, Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos.