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Pelé is a Royal

Combative midfielder seals season-long loan switch to the Madejski

6 August 2019

The 27-year-old will take squad number 29 after completing a medical and signing his contract at Hogwood Park earlier this afternoon, sealing a move from AS Monaco to the Madejski.

Reading Football Club are pleased to announce that midfielder Pelé has put pen to paper on season-long stay in RG2.

Manager José Gomes said, “Pelé is a strong, powerful, talented midfielder who has impressed at a number of different clubs, especially in Portugal, so I am very pleased he has joined us here at Reading.”

Full-named Judilson Mamadu Tuncará Gomes, but known as Pelé, the midfielder began his career in his native Portugal with Belenenses - making his first-team debut in a 1-0 Primeira Liga win over Rio Ave, aged only 17.

A move to Italy with Genoa and then catching the eye of AC Milan, Pelé was loaned back to Portugal, first with Olhanense and then back at Belenenses, and he made Benfica his base when he signed for the Portuguese giants in 2015.


A return to regular football came on loan with Paços de Ferreira and he signed permanently for Rio Ave in 2017, scoring seven league goals in 31 appearances to earn qualification for the Europa League with a fifth-place finish. The combative midfielder picked up his club’s Player of the Season accolade in the process.

Before he could feature under José Gomes at the Estádio do Rio Ave, Pelé signed a big money move to Thierry Henry’s Monaco and, after eight Ligue 1 appearances, he spent the second half of last season on loan at Nottingham Forest.


Internationally, he featured at various youth levels for Portugal but at senior level he was capped by Guinea-Bissau, making his full international debut two years ago in a 1–0 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier win over Namibia.

This summer, he represented his country in all three African Cup of Nations group games; it was only the second time Guinea-Bissau have ever qualified for the tournament and they only missed out on reaching the knockout stages following defeat to Andy Yiadom’s Ghana.

Chief Executive Nigel Howe said, “Pelé is a commanding presence in the centre of midfield and has already tasted Championship football during a loan spell at the City Ground last season. I am sure he will complement our current midfield options and I’m delighted he has chosen to spend 2019-20 as a Royal.”

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