Mangala playing for Manchester City in 2014
|Full name||Eliaquim Mangala|
|Date of birth||13 February 1991|
|Place of birth||Colombes, France|
|Height||1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) |
|Playing position||Centre back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:38, 2 January 2016 (UTC).
Mangala was born in the northwestern Parisian suburb of Colombes, but moved to Belgium at the age of five to live in the French-speaking city of Namur. At the same age, he joined local club Athletic Club Lustin as a youth player and spent six years at the club before moving to CS Wépionnais in nearby Wépion. After two years in Wépion, Mangala joined the biggest club in the city, UR Namur, and quickly impressed. While at Namur, Mangala was utilized as a striker and his positive displays at youth level led to interest from Standard Liège. In 2007, Mangala and Standard reached an agreement on a three-year youth contract.
Mangala joined Standard Liège and, upon his arrival, was converted into a left back and inserted into the club's under-17 team for the 2007–08 season. Mangala's admirable play with the team led to the player being promoted to Standard's under-19 team in January 2008, where he again switched positions, this time moving into central defence. During his time with the under-19 team, Mangala made the bench several times for Standard's under-21 team, despite being only 17 years old.
For the 2008–09 season, Mangala was given the opportunity to train and play with the first team. On 23 October 2008, he signed his first professional contract, agreeing to a five-year deal with the club. Mangala was officially promoted to the senior team and assigned the number 22 shirt. On 9 November, he made his professional debut as an 89th-minute substitute in a 3–1 victory over Germinal Beerschot. He made another late appearance against Gent before earning his first career league start against Dender on 17 January 2009. In the match, Mangala provided the assist on the opening goal scored by Milan Jovanović in the 3rd minute of play. Standard won the match 3–2 with Mangala playing the entire match. He finished the season with 11 league appearances as Standard Liège were crowned champions. He also appeared in UEFA Cup matches against Italian club Sampdoria, German club Stuttgart, and Portuguese outfit Sporting, starting the match against the latter.
Mangala was inserted as a starter for the 2009–10 season making his debut in the club's 2–0 victory over Genk in the Belgian Supercup on 25 July 2009. On 12 September, Mangala scored his first professional goal in a league match against Mechelen in a 3–0 victory. Four days later, Mangala scored another goal against English club Arsenal in the club's opening UEFA Champions League group stage match. Mangala scored the goal in the 3rd minute and Standard striker Jovanović scored two minutes later to put Standard Liège up 2–0, however, the club went on to lose the match 3–2 following three unanswered goals from the English side.
In what proved to be his final league match for Standard, Mangala converted a Steven Defour free-kick to give his side a 1−0 lead over KRC Genk at half-time, but striker Kennedy Ugoala Nwanganga earned a 1−1 draw for Genk, securing the league title by just half a point over Standard. In his final appearance for the club on 21 May 2011, Mangala scored Standard's first goal in their 2−0 victory over K.V.C. Westerlo in the final of the Belgian Cup, ending an 18-year cup drought.
Mangala joined reigning Europa League champions Porto on 16 August 2011. The deal also included Porto signing his Standard teammate Steven Defour in a combined deal that totaled £11.4 million. He played his first season with Porto as a substitute behind the likes of Rolando, Maicon and Nicolás Otamendi. He made his first appearance in the 2012-13 season for Porto in the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira against Académica on 11 August 2012, playing the full 90 minutes as Porto won the pre-season title with a 1−0 win. He made his first-team breakthrough with Porto that season, becoming the first-choice centre back and scoring four league goals, one of which was in a 2–2 draw with Benfica on 13 January 2013. Mangala featured in Porto's 2−0 win over Paços de Ferreira on 19 May 2013, leading the club to an undefeated season and a third-straight league title, by just one point over rivals Benfica.
On 23 February 2014, Mangala was sent off for a reckless challenge inside the area and Porto fell to a 1−0 defeat to Estoril as Evandro converted the spot kick. In Porto's Europa League Round of 16 second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt on 27 February 2014, Mangala scored two goals, both from headers, as Porto battled back from 2−0 down to draw 3−3 and secure passage to the quarter-finals on away goals. On 3 April 2014, Mangala headed in the game's only goal as Porto defeated Sevilla in the first-leg of their quarter-final tie in the Europa League. His goal would not be enough to guide the Portuguese into the next round as they fell to a 4−1 loss in Spain seven days later.
On 11 August 2014, Mangala signed for English club Manchester City on a five-year contract, for a reported £31.8 million transfer fee. It was however reported 18 months into his contract that the fee was more in the region of £42m due to spiralling costs as a result of Mangala's split ownership at Porto, with City having to pay in the region of £18m to two companies which owned over 40% of Mangala's economic rights. This second figure would make Mangala the most expensive defender in British transfer history. He reunited with his former partner in Porto's defence, Fernando, who had joined City earlier in the summer.
Mangala made his debut in City's fifth match of the Premier League season, a 1–1 home draw against Chelsea on 21 September. Lining up alongside captain Vincent Kompany, his performance was described by BBC Sport as "colossal". Six days later, an own goal and concession of a penalty by Mangala caused City to lose a 2–0 lead against Hull, although they eventually triumphed 4–2. Despite media criticism, manager Manuel Pellegrini said "we continue to trust him because he is a very good player who had very bad luck".
Due to being raised in Belgium, Mangala did not feature with any of France's youth football teams. In 2008, he was approached by the Belgium Football Association who called the player up to the country's under-18 national team. However, due to not possessing a passport at the time, the call up was deemed futile. After excelling with Standard Liège's senior team, Mangala drew the interest of the French Football Federation with France under-21 manager Erick Mombaerts attending a match between Liège and Mouscron at the Stade Le Canonnier in November. On 5 November 2009, Mangala was selected, for the first time, to the under-21 team for a friendly match against Tunisia on 13 November and a 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification match against Slovenia on 17 November. Mangala made his under-21 debut in the Tunisia match, but missed the match against Slovenia after withdrawing from the team due to an injury suffered the previous day in training. On 2 March 2010, he earned his second straight selection to the under-21 team and started in central defence alongside captain Mamadou Sakho in the team's 3–1 win over Croatia.
Mangala made his debut with the France senior team in a 1–0 loss to Uruguay on 6 June 2013. He was included in France's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup but did not make an appearance during the tournament.
- As of 2 January 2016
- Standard Liège
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- "UEFA Europa League squad of the season". UEFA.com. 3 June 2014. Retrieved 3 June 2014.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eliaquim Mangala.|
- Eliaquim Mangala player info at the official Standard website (French)
- Eliaquim Mangala player info at FootGoal.net (Dutch)
- [@Elia22Mangala Twitter account of Eliaquim Mangala]
- Official website