Calm, unflappable and level-headed, Cape Verde-born Rolando is a typical Portugal centre-half and a reliable presence in the national squad.
He started his career with the Campo Maior club, in the idyllic Portuguese region of Alentejo, and it would seem that the serenity of his surroundings rubbed off on the young footballer’s style of play. He made the switch to Lisbon club Belenenses while still a youth team player, going on to make his professional debut with them.
At the start of 2008/09, the defender changed cities, if not colours, and he swapped the blue of Belenenses for the blue-and-white stripes of Portuguese champions Porto. Few could have imagined how quickly the centre-half would settle at the Estadio do Dragao, seeing off the challenge of experienced players such as Pedro Emanuel and the Serbian Milan Stepanov to form a rock-solid defensive partnership with fellow international Bruno Alves.
He helped his new club to the Portuguese league title in his first season, and in February 2009 earned his first call-up to national coach Carlos Queiroz’s squad. He made his debut in a friendly against Finland, and since then has hardly looked back, becoming a regular fixture in the national squad. As he returns to the continent of his birth he will be hoping to add to his seven international caps at the FIFA World Cup™, the first major tournament of his career.