'Nobody calls us the Paracetamols anymore' - Conde discusses Mozambique's World Cup prospects

Chiquinho Conde has lauded Mozambique's growth before the June World Cup qualifying games (Imago/Shengolpixs/FIFA)


Chiquinho Conde believes Mozambique can make it to the 2026 World Cup finals (Imago/Shengolpixs/FIFA)

'Nobody calls us the Paracetamols anymore' - Conde discusses Mozambique's World Cup prospects

Seye Omidiora 12:28 - 07.06.2024

Chiquinho Conde, who believes Mozambique can qualify for the 2026 World Cup, has disclosed how supporters no longer feel anxious before watching the Mambas.

Mozambique head coach Chiquinho Conde has revealed how the Mambas have regained supporters’ faith after years of headaches. 

Conde guided the southern African country to the recently held Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cote d’Ivoire, even if they could not make it past the group stage. 

Regardless of that early exit, Conde has pointed to the team’s overall improvement in recent years, believing it has won over disgruntled fans. Mozambique played commendably at AFCON 2023, playing out 2-2 draws against Egypt and Ghana, either side of a 3-0 loss to Cape Verde in a wildly exciting group stage.

Mozambique’s previous tendency to put fans through the emotional wringer saw them slapped with an unwanted nickname, the Paracetamols. 

What Chiquinho Conde said about Mozambique's World Cup qualification chances

While the medicine is typically used to cure headaches, supporters labelled the Mambas humorously due to the constant worrying about the nation’s performances and results. 

However, Conde thinks that is now changing. 

“It’s true!” said the 58-year-old coach. “We were called the Paracetamols because, as you know, Paracetamol is a pill for headaches. Whenever the Mambas played, people asked for Paracetamol.

“Mozambican football fans lost all belief in the team, which is why they called them the Paracetamols. An entire people were hurting.

2026 WCQ
Mozambique head coach Chiquinho Conde (FIFA)

“In recent qualifying campaigns, we’ve had this tendency to concede goals in the dying minutes and have missed out because of it. 

“Incredible as it seems, we booked our place at the last AFCON thanks to a goal against Benin in the 95th minute. We changed the paradigm.”

Furthermore, Conde wants his side to dream about a maiden World Cup appearance in 2026, having ended a 13-year wait with participation at AFCON 2023.

2026 WCQ
Mozambique aim to qualify for their maiden World Cup finals (FIFA)

“Today there’s great belief, the fans are back onboard and we’ve changed perceptions," said Conde. "Nobody calls the Mambas the Paracetamols any more. The people believe, they fill the stadiums, and they give us their backing, which fills us with pride.  

“We can dream about making the World Cup, for sure. I’m convinced of that, as is everybody who’s in this project. We believe in ourselves and we play every game to win. It’s a tough ask, but we live to dream, with humility and respect, but always believing in ourselves.”

What comes next for Mozambique in World Cup qualifying?

Mozambique have three points from an available six in World Cup qualifying, heading into games against Somalia and Guinea on June 7 and 10, respectively. 

The Mambas sit level on three points with Botswana and Uganda, with three points separating them from Algeria and the Guineans, who defeated the North African giants 2-1 on Thursday.