Former African Stars, Tigers and SKW stalwart defender Hareni ‘Vieira’ Mbaeva has signed a short-term deal with Liga de Elite outfit, Casa de Portugal em Macau FC, in China.
Mbaeva joined Casa de Portugal in February this year, along with Brave Warriors defender Ananias Gebhardt, who has since returned home for personal reasons.
The Liga de Elite (Elite League), previously known as Campeonato da 1ª Divisão do Futebol, is the top division of the Macau Football Association, established in 1973. As with the Hong Kong Premier League, it is separate from the mainland Chinese football league system, including the Chinese Super League and leagues below it.
‘Vieira’, as the towering defender is affectionately known, dons the number 43 shirt for his club and has so far featured in all the club’s matches this season.
Speaking to New Era Sport from his base in Macau, Mbaeva expressed satisfaction with his stay in the Chinese league and says he is highly rated by his coach, former Macau international striker Peter Malendese.
Mbaeva said he is set to move to the Saudi Premier League in the Middle East at the end of his current deal.
The 30-year-old Namibian centre-back, who relocated to Midrand, South Africa in 2013, is a devoted Muslim by faith. Standing at 1.94m tall, Mbaeva previously played for Sarcel FC in the French 4th Division and Midrand Raiders, a team comprised of free agent professionals from all over Africa residing in the Midrand area.
During recess, he spent time at the world-renowned Centro Integral Futbolista Argentino (CIFA) Sports Centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which hosts top players during the off-season, or those recovering from injury.
Mbaeva has also represented Namibia at Under-19 level in the Gothia Cup and the Tivoli Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark, both in 2001.