Mavuba playing for Lille against CSKA Moscow
|Full name||Rio Antonio Mavuba|
|Date of birth||8 March 1984|
|Place of birth||Born at sea|
|Height||1.71 m (5 ft 7 1⁄2 in)|
|2008||→ Lille (loan)||17||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 May 2011.
† Appearances (Goals).
Mavuba's father was Mafuila "Ricky" Mavuba (nicknamed The Black Sorcerer), a footballer, who appeared at the 1974 World Cup for Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) national football team, while Rio Antonio's mother was an Angolan national.
He was born on board a boat in international waters, during the period of the civil war. Mavuba has stated that his birth certificate does not have a nationality on it; it just reads "born at sea", however, as he grew up in France he considers himself French. He received French nationality in September 2004.
His mother died when he was two, and his father when he was 14 years old. He threw himself into football to help deal with his grief.
After breaking through from the reserve team, Mavuba made his debut for Bordeaux against Olympique Lyonnais, in January 2004. From that moment on, he would become a mainstay in the team, eventually leading to his international debut with France.
On 3 July 2007, he signed a five-year deal with La Liga side Villarreal CF, who had lost Alessio Tacchinardi, who returned to Juventus after his two-year loan. He found it hard to break into the first team, even though he had some good performances, in January 2008 he joined Lille OSC on loan until the end of the season. Following the season, Lille opted to sign Mavuba permanently and reached an agreement on the transfer with both Villarreal and Mavuba. Mavuba agreed to a four-year deal and the transfer fee is estimated to be 7 million euros.
He made his senior team debut for France on 18 August 2004 against Bosnia and Herzegovina in a 1–1 draw.
While an Under-21 player, he was asked to play for Congo DR, but he turned it down.
He also won a place in the Under-21 UEFA Championship's Team of the Tournament in centre midfield with Moroccan Ismaïl Aissati.