He was for a time the most expensive defender in history. Former Porto and Manchester City defender Eliquim Mangala is now without a club in 2023, following his move to AS Saint-Etienne. From the top of his 1.88 meters, the sturdy French defender did not have the career many expected of him. Back to the Equilim Mangala course, to find out how it got there?
In 2011, Frenchman Eliquim Mangala became the most expensive defender in history after moving from Porto to Manchester City for 53.8 million euros. He broke the transfer record for the most defenders in the history of David Luiz with PSG for (49.5 million) and Rio Ferdinand at MU (46 M).
At FC Porto, the French defender showed the extent of his talent in the Portuguese championship. From his first season, he was champion of Portugal. The following season began with a victory in the Portuguese Super Cup against Academia de Coimbra. He was again champion of Portugal at the end of the season and reached the knockout stage of the Champions League. In 2014, he allowed his FC Porto team to qualify for the knockout stages of the Europa League by scoring a double header and thereby beating Eintracht Frankfurt on goal difference scored away from home.
Former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini took heat in front of the press over Mangala’s arrival at Manchester City. He said, and I quote: ” He has all the mental, physical, technical and tactical baggage to be one of the best defenders in Europe” , still moving forward with Manuel Pellegrini. The defender is off to a good start with the cityzens. For his first match at Chelsea, Mangala produced an XXL performance and was elected man of the match in this meeting. From his first season at the club, he took part in thirty-one matches in all competitions. In his second season in England, he took part in thirty-five matches in all competitions and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League before being eliminated by Real Madrid. He was injured for several months, which kept him away from the pitch and he did not take part in the League Cup final.
Pep Guardiola, the beginning of Mangala’s descent into hell
With his physical ailments, Eliquim Mangala lost his starting place under the reign of Pep Guardiola, who replaced Manuel Pellegrini at the head of the city’s men. The Spanish technician dismissed Mangala from the group when he arrived in the City. Quickly, the Frenchman’s name was mentioned in the lists of players who no longer enter the Catalan plans. “Guardiola quickly felt that Mangala did not have the level on the ball required to play in the team he wanted to build”, still moving forward with Pete Sharland. The French defender will be loaned to Valence in 2016 to relaunch his career.
The French defender did well during his loan spell at Valencia, where he played more than thirty games for the Spanish club. In Valencia he proved that he has lost none of his potential. This will allow him to return to Manchester City in 2017. With the injuries of Guardiola’s defensive holders, Mangala has replayed under the orders of Pep Guardiola, putting together good performances. Pep Guardiola will praise the French rock who have shown exemplary behaviour. ” I was very impressed with his behavior during trainingunderlined the Citizens coach. He didn’t play regularly before and he always accepted it. He always tries to help the team and when things like this happen I can only take my hat off.“. But the arrival of Aymeric Laporte will push the defender to Everton on a new loan. The defender would hurt his knee in his second game with the Toffees, which would be synonymous with his descent into hell.
2018, the injury that turned everything upside down
On loan at Everton, Eliquim Mangala will play just two games with the Toffees. In his second game at Everton, his right knee buckled. Result: nine months off and a style of play to rethink. His 2018-2019 season was only with the Manchester City B team.
In 2019 he will return to Valencia. In two seasons, Mangala played only 21 matches, rarely important ones. In the summer of 2021, Valencia logically let him go without offering him an extension. With his drop in level and his physical glitches, Mangala was zapped by clubs. In January 2022 he joined the greens of Saint-Etienne for one season. Mangala will not be stored at the end of the vegetable season.
Now without a club, the former City player has set himself a new goal for 2023. The one who cost 45th million euros in 2011 wants to find a club for a new challenge at 32 years old.
“My plan is to find a club as soon as possible. Football is my passion and I am motivated to give more on the pitch. Football is where I want it and I want to be on the pitch.” underscored the French international in a statement on the Get French Football News portal.