Mavuba playing for Lille in 2010
|Full name||Rio Antonio Zoba Mavuba|
|Date of birth||8 March 1984|
|Place of birth||Born at sea|
|Height||1.72 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 18 December 2016.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 15 June 2014
Mavuba's father was Mafuila Mavuba, a footballer who appeared at the 1974 FIFA World Cup with Zaire, while his mother was an Angolan national. He was born on board a boat in international waters during the period of the Angolan Civil War, and later stated that his birth certificate did not have a nationality on it, reading only "born at sea"; he received French nationality in September 2004.
Mavuba's mother died when he was two, and his father 12 years later. He launched himself into football to help deal with his grief.
Mavuba played youth football with FC Girondins de Bordeaux. He made his Ligue 1 debut on 10 January in a 2–1 away win against Montpellier HSC and, under recently appointed manager Michel Pavon, became an immediate first-choice.
From the 2004–05 season until the end of his spell, Mavuba never appeared in less that 32 league matches.
Villarreal / Lille
On 3 July 2007, Mavuba signed a five-year deal with Villarreal CF worth €7 million, as the Spanish side had lost Alessio Tacchinardi who returned to Juventus F.C. following a loan. He found it hard to break into the first team, only totalling 219 minutes in La Liga, and in late January 2008 joined Lille OSC on loan until the end of the campaign.
The transfer was made subsequently permanent in the 2008 summer, with the player penning a four-year contract for a reported fee of €7 million. He appeared in 46 matches between the league and the Coupe de France in his third year, helping Les Dogues win both competitions, the former after a 57-year wait.
Mavuba suffered a knee injury midway through the 2012–13 season, being sidelined for more than three months. On 22 December 2013, the team captain scored his first goal of the new campaign, helping to a 2–2 draw at Paris Saint Germain F.C. and being involved in a scuffle with Zlatan Ibrahimović, with both players being booked late into the first half.
On 26 May 2015, Mavuba signed a new four-year deal with Lille.
In 2004, Mavuba was asked to play for the DR Congo national team, but he turned it down. From the 2004 Toulon Tournament to the 2006 UEFA European Championship, he acted as captain to the French under-21s.
Mavuba was selected by coach Didier Deschamps for his 2014 FIFA World Cup squad. He made his debut in the competition on 15 June, coming on as a second-half substitute for Yohan Cabaye in a 3–0 group stage win against Honduras.
- James Copnall (14 October 2004). "Mavuba: born without a nation". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2008.
- "El Villarreal ficha a Rio Mavuba por siete millones de euros" [Villarreal signs Rio Mavuba for seven million euros] (in Spanish). 20 Minutos. 3 July 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Mavuba, al Villarreal" [Mavuba, to Villarreal] (in Spanish). UEFA.com. 4 July 2007. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Mavuba tampoco juega en la UEFA" [Mavuba also does not play in UEFA] (in Spanish). Marca. 26 October 2007. Archived from the original on 29 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Mavuba rebondit à Lille" [Mavuba rebounds to Lille] (in French). Le Figaro. 21 January 2008. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Mavuba, et maintenant?" [Mavuba, and now] (in French). Le Figaro. 3 May 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Lille hold PSG". ESPN FC. 22 December 2013. Archived from the original on 28 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "PSG-LOSC (2–2): Mavuba sur Ibrahimovic: "Il fait 2 mètres, on lui touche la tête et il tombe..."" [PSG-LOSC (2–2): Mavuba on Ibrahimovic: "He's 2 metres tall, you touch him on the head and he falls..."] (in French). Eurosport. 22 December 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "Rio Mavuba signs Lille contract extension". Get French Football News. 26 May 2015. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
- "France flurry flattens Germany". UEFA.com. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
- "World Cup 2014: Stephane Ruffier confirmed in France squad". BBC Sport. 3 June 2014. Archived from the original on 19 May 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.
- "Benzema bags brace as Bleus beat Honduras". FIFA.com. 15 June 2014. Archived from the original on 11 July 2014. Retrieved 20 June 2014.