Vicente Engonga

Spanish football player and manager

Vicente Engonga
Personal information
Full name Vicente Engonga Maté
Date of birth (1965-10-20) 20 October 1965 (age 56)
Place of birth Barcelona, Spain
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Central midfielder
Youth career
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1984–1986 Gimnástica 51 (2)
1986–1991 Sporting Mahonés 112 (3)
1991–1992 Valladolid 37 (2)
1992–1994 Celta 72 (0)
1994–1997 Valencia 69 (2)
1997–2002 Mallorca 149 (4)
2002–2003 Oviedo 11 (1)
2003Coventry City (loan) 8 (0)
Total 509 (14)
National team
1998–2000 Spain 14 (1)
Teams managed
2008–2009 Equatorial Guinea
2011 Mallorca B
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Vicente Engonga Maté (born 20 October 1965) is a Spanish retired professional footballer who played mainly as a central midfielder but occasionally as a sweeper.

He played for six clubs in his career, having his longest and most successful spell at Mallorca despite arriving there aged 32. In total, he appeared in 327 La Liga matches and scored eight goals over 11 seasons.

Engonga was a Spanish international for two years, and represented the team at Euro 2000.

Club career

Born in Barcelona, Catalonia of Equatorial Guinean descent,[1] Engonga spent his childhood in the Cantabria region, where his father was a footballer.[2] He started his senior career with local lower league side Gimnástica de Torrelavega, and then joined CF Sporting Mahonés.

In 1991, Engonga moved to Real Valladolid in La Liga. In his first year the club were relegated to the Segunda División and he left for RC Celta de Vigo, with whom he was a finalist in the 1994 Copa del Rey.[3]

Engonga was bought by league powerhouse Valencia CF in summer 1994, spending three seasons at the Mestalla Stadium. After a shaky start, he made 35 appearances in 1996–97, although the Che finished tenth.

Subsequently, Engonga signed with RCD Mallorca under Héctor Cúper's supervision, along with five other former teammates including Iván Campo. He displayed his best football at the Balearic Islands side, helping them win the 1998 Supercopa de España after beating FC Barcelona 3–1 on aggregate. Also that year, they reached the final of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, losing 2–1 to S.S. Lazio.[4]

During the 2000–01 campaign, Engonga scored twice in 31 league games as his team earned a third-place finish, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League for the first time. In their first match in the competition, he scored the only goal to defeat Arsenal at Son Moix, an 11th-minute penalty after Ashley Cole was sent off for fouling Albert Luque.[5]

In 2002, Engonga's contract expired and he joined second-tier Real Oviedo where he played for six months before moving abroad in late January 2003, signing a six-month loan deal with English club Coventry City in the Football League Division One.[6] At the end of the season the 37-year-old retired, going on to work with Mallorca in several coaching capacities.[7]

International career

On 23 September 1998, aged nearly 33, Engonga made his debut with the Spanish national team, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–0 friendly win over Russia in Granada.[8] He was the second-oldest player to debut for the country after Ferenc Puskás, who was 34 and had previously represented Hungary.[9]

Engonga scored his only goal on 5 May 1999 in a friendly against Croatia, equalising an eventual 3–1 victory in Seville.[10] He was picked for the UEFA Euro 2000 squad, making a late substitute appearance in a 2–1 group stage defeat of Slovenia at the Amsterdam Arena,[11] which was the last of his 14 caps.

Engonga was the first Spanish-born black player to play for the national team.[12] During his career, he also represented the unofficial Cantabria autonomous team.[2]

In August 2008, Engonga was appointed manager of Equatorial Guinea.[13]

International goals

Scores and results list Spain's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Engonga goal.
List of international goals scored by Vicente Engonga
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 5 May 1999 La Cartuja, Seville, Spain  Croatia 1–1 3–1 Friendly[14]

Personal life

Engonga's younger brother, Óscar, was also a professional midfielder. He played most of his career in the lower leagues of Spain, but was at Valladolid at the same time as Vicente.[15]

Engonga's nephew, Igor, was selected by Equatorial Guinea for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.[16]






  1. ^ "Footballers step-out of 'Eel's' shadow". BBC Sport. 8 May 2007. Retrieved 28 May 2007.
  2. ^ a b Casado, Edu (11 January 2009). "Qué fue de… Engonga" [What happened to… Engonga]. 20 minutos (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Copa del Rey 1994" [1994 Spanish Cup] (in Spanish). Geocities. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2007.
  4. ^ "1998/99: Lazio leave it late". UEFA. 19 May 1999. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
  5. ^ Brodkin, Jon (12 September 2001). "Cole sent off as Gunners slump". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Coventry snap up Engonga". BBC Sport. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
  7. ^ Bauzà, Jaime (7 August 2014). "Un cuerpo técnico de leyenda" [A technical staff for the ages]. Diario de Mallorca (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  8. ^ Galindo, Jesús (24 September 1998). "Camacho debuta con épica" [Camacho has epic debut]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  9. ^ Garde, Luis (15 November 2006). "Navarro, el tercer debutante más "viejo"" [Navarro, third "oldest" debutant]. ABC (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  10. ^ Román, Rogelio (6 May 1999). "España sigue disfrutando" [Spain continue to enjoy themselves]. Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Etxeberria spares Spain's blushes against Slovenia". UEFA. 6 October 2003. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  12. ^ Lowe, Sid (23 November 2011). "Jonas Ramalho helping to dispel longstanding Athletic Bilbao myth". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Vicente Engonga deja el Mallorca para dirigir a Guinea Ecuatorial" [Vicente Engonga leaves Mallorca to coach Equatorial Guinea] (in Spanish). Soitu. 4 August 2008. Retrieved 7 September 2008.
  14. ^ "España vence a Croacia en la inauguración del Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla" [Spain defeat Croatia in opening of Sevilla Olympic Stadium]. El Mundo (in Spanish). 6 May 1999. Retrieved 23 January 2016.
  15. ^ Sánchez, Guillermo (20 October 2018). "La saga de los Engonga" [The Engonga saga]. Marca (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 January 2019.
  16. ^ Rodrigálvarez, Eduardo (14 November 2013). "Del cole a jugar contra La Roja" [From school to playing against La Roja]. El País (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 January 2019.

External links

  • Vicente Engonga at BDFutbol
  • Vicente Engonga manager profile at BDFutbol
  • Vicente Engonga at Soccerbase Edit this at Wikidata
  • Vicente Engonga at
  • Spain stats at Eu-Football
  • v
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Spain squadUEFA Euro 2000
  • v
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Equatorial Guinea national football teammanagers