Famous athletes you didn’t know are from Cape Verde

Luis Nani
Luis Nani

Cape Verde is an island country colonized by Portugal. The island spans an archipelago of 10 volcanic islands in the Central Atlantic Ocean.

Cape Verde island makes up for its lack of natural resources with an exciting array of tourist sites making its focus on tourism and foreign investment. With a population of 540,000, most are Europeans, Moorish Arab and Catholics.

These is the big-name athletes who have Cape Verdean origin.

Luis Nani
Luis Nani

NANI

Born Luis Carlos Almeida Cunha in Portugal, he is popularly known as Nani. He is a professional footballer who played as a winger for English club, Manchester United but currently plays in the Major League Soccer for Orlando City SC.

He represents Portugal in international football and has played over 100 games for the senior national team. Nani was born in Amadora, Portugal, and is of Cape Verdean descent. He began his football career playing for local side Real Massamá before training with Sporting Lisbon and Benfica.

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Luis Nani

After a successful debut season in England winning the Community Shield, Premier League and Champions League defeating Chelsea, Nani has played for 4 football clubs including, Sporting CP, Fenerbahçe, Valencia and Lazio.

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Adilson Tavares Varela

Adilson Tavares Varela

Commonly known as Cabral, he is a footballer who plays for Lausanne- Sports in Switzerland. Born in Praia, Cape Verde, he moved to Switzerland at an early age. He played for Basel, winning nine honours including five Swiss Super League titles. Representing his adopted country Switzerland 30 times between the U18 and U21 level, he rejected a call-up to play for Cape Verde.

In June 2013, he signed with Sunderland on a free transfer and immediately scored his first goal against Tottenham Hotspur in the semi-final of the 2013 Premier League Asia trophy.

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Ryan Mendes

Ryan Mendes

29-year-old Mendes was born in Cape Verde. He began his playing career with hometown club Batugue Fc. He was sold to French side Le Havre AC in 2009 with his first game against AS Saint – Etienne. He joined Lille in 2012 but missed the second half of the first season after having surgery on a right ankle tendon.

He joined English side, Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan scoring his first goal in a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town.

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Lidian Lopes

Lidian Lopes

Lidian Lopes is the current Cape Verdean record holder in the 100-metre sprint. She has competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic in the 100 meters. She also competed in a world championship, a world junior championship and a World Youth Championships. She was born in Cape Verde.

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Henrique Ben David

Henrique Ben David

Henrique Ben David is a Portuguese striker born in Cape Verde. He played for the Portuguese national team and spent most of his career with Athletico Clube De Portugal.

He was born on 5th December 1926 and died 4th December, 1978.

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