Raith Rovers:  loan signing Esmael Goncalve set for Scottish Cup debut

Raith Rovers have signed striker Esmael Goncalves on loan - and he could go straight into the line-up for today’s Scottish Cup fifth round tie against Motherwell.
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The ex-Livingston forward joins the Stark’s Park club for the remainder of the season.

Born in Guinea, the 31 year-old moved to Portugal as a child started his football career in the youth academies of Boavista and French Ligue 1 side Nice.

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He first came to the attention of Scottish fans when he joined St. Mirren on loan from Rio Ave in 2013, scoring the equalising goal and providing an assist for the winning goal in the Buddies' first League Cup win and their first major trophy since 1987.

Esmael Goncalves' previous clubs include Hearts (Pic: Andrew O'Brien)Esmael Goncalves' previous clubs include Hearts (Pic: Andrew O'Brien)
Esmael Goncalves' previous clubs include Hearts (Pic: Andrew O'Brien)

Spells at Greek, Cypriot and Saudi Arabian clubs then followed before "Isma" returned to Scotland; arriving at Tynecastle to sign for Heart of Midlothian and playing over 40 games for the Jambos in season 2017-18, scoring 15 goals.

He has since played in Uzbekistan, Iran, Japan, India and Bangladesh, returning to these shores of this season when he joined Livingston on a two year deal.

Esmael has represented Guinea Bissau once at full international level in 2018, and also won under 17 caps for Portugal in season 2007-08.