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Top Facts about Ze Roberto, the Brazilian Versatile Player

Sun 03 October 2021 | 19:00

In this article we are going to have a look at the top facts about Ze Roberto.

José Roberto da Silva Júnior was born on 6 July 1974. Commonly known as Zé Roberto, he is a Brazilian former professional football player who played as a left wing-back or as a midfielder. Now, he is a technical consultant of

Palmeiras

, acting directly with the team and the coaching staff.

Top Facts about Ze Roberto, the Brazilian Versatile Player

Zé Roberto in the minds of Bayern Munich supporters, stands for Brazilian talent in the midfield, many assists, some trophies and of course unusual hairstyles. In this article we look back on the

top facts about Ze Roberto

.

Zé Roberto quick information

  • Full name:

    José Roberto da Silva Júnior

  • Date of birth:

    6 July, 1974

  • Place of birth:

    São Paulo, Brazil

  • Age:

    47

  • Height: 

    N/A

  • Citizenship:

    Brazil, Germany

  • Position:

    midfield - Left Midfield

  • Foot:

    N/A

  • Player agent: 

    Mjf Publicidade e Promoções

  • Current status:

     Retired

  • Retired:

    Nov 28, 2017

Contract expires:

-

Zé Roberto club career

One of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that he started in the youth ranks of Palestra de São Bernardo but when he played for Portuguesa, as a left-back, that he became known throughout Brazil after finishing as runner-up in 1996 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

Zé Roberto then joined 

Real Madrid

 in January 1997 for a short spell, where he assisted them to win the 1996–97 Spanish league championship. 

He was also part of the Madrid's 1997–98 UEFA Champions League winning squad, netting his only goal for the team in the opening group game against Rosenborg BK, before moving back to Brazil to play for Flamengo midway through the season.

In an interview in 2012, Zé Roberto talked about his decision to leave Real Madrid because of his desire to play for Brazil at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and had inadequate opportunities to prove his talents in Spain.

The first half of 1998 Zé played for

Flamengo

under manager Paulo Autuori along with Romário, Palinha, Juan,  who would later play for Bayer Leverkusen and AS Roma, and his former Portuguesa teammate Rodrigo Fabri for the Rio de Janeiro State Championship, finishing unacceptably as runners-up. After this Zé Roberto was signed by German Bundesliga team Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Zé Roberto at Bayer Leverkusen

One of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that he moved to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 1998. It was at Bayer Leverkusen that he really made a name for himself, rapidly becoming a popular player at the team. During his four-year spell, Bayer Leverkusen enjoyed their most successful era, finishing as runners-up in the German Bundesliga in three seasons.

On 4 December 2001, Zé Roberto started scoring with an excellent free kick against Deportivo de La Coruña in the 64th minute, as Bayer beat the Spanish team 3–0 in the second group stage of the Champions League.

After Bayer Leverkusen's win against Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on 9 April 2002, Zé Roberto declared that he would be joining former teammate Michael Ballack at Bayern Munich. In spite of the transfer distractions, Zé Roberto helped Bayer Leverkusen reach the final match of the UEFA Champions League on 15 May 2002, losing 2–1 to his former team Real Madrid in Glasgow. In four years at the team, Zé Roberto played in 113 league games scoring 16 goals.

Zé Roberto at Bayern Munich and Santos

In May 2002, Zé Roberto joined 

Bayern Munich

 for a fee of about €12 million, signing a three-year contract, linking up with developing German talent Sebastian Deisler and former Leverkusen teammate Michael Ballack. 

With Bayern Zé Roberto won the German Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double three times between 2002 and 2006. He found his starting spot threatened under new coach Felix Magath and left the team in 2006. Following the announcement that he would not return to Bayern Munich, he openly criticized the club's style of play and expected challenges if changes were not made.

While Zé Roberto was a free player he signed through his agent Juan Figer a three year deal with Club Nacional de Football in Montevideo, a team he never played for. On 31 August 2006 it was publicized that Zé Roberto would join 

Santos FC

 in Brazil for one year. Zé Roberto helped the team win the 2007 Campeonato Paulista. 

The victory was his first title in a Brazilian tournament. Zé Roberto netted seven goals in the 2007 Copa Libertadores, where Santos reached the semi-finals. During his time with Santos he played in 48 official games netting 12 goals, playing for the first time in his professional career as an attacking midfielder.

On 22 June 2007 it was announced, that Zé Roberto would return to Bayern Munich, which paid one million euro to Nacional for a two-year loan.

Zé Roberto said, "It was as if I’d never been away", en route to winning a fourth German double with the Bavarians. During Bayern Munich 2007–08 season, Zé Roberto netted five goals and was important in Bayern's domestic and cup double.

The strengthened Zé Roberto proved all his newly acquired skills by scoring five goals and forming a rigid partnership with Mark van Bommel in his new role in central defensive midfield.

Zé Roberto made an effective start to the 2008–09 season – scoring four goals in his first 11 starts. Zé Roberto would conclude his second spell at the Bavarian team appearing in 59 league matches scoring nine goals.

Zé Roberto left the team at the end of the 2009 season after Bayern directors refused to offer him a new two-year contract.

Zé Roberto at Hamburger SV

Zé Roberto’s contract with Bayern Munich ran until 30 June 2009. The team offered him a contract until 2010, however Zé Roberto rejected. Bundesliga team 

Hamburger SV

 formally declared signing Zé Roberto to a two-year deal on 2 July 2009. But Der Spiegel stated Hamburg in fact paid €4 million sign-on fees to Zé Roberto's agent Juan Figer. Bayern Munich also paid him €1 million in 2007. 

In May 2011, Zé Roberto said that he would not sign a new contract with the German club, because he needed a longer deal than the new one offered by the team.

Zé Roberto at Al-Gharafa

On 10 July 2011, Zé Roberto signed a two-year deal with the Qatari team 

Al-Gharafa

, where he helped his club win the 2012 Emir of Qatar Cup.

Zé Roberto return to Brazil

One of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that after a season with Qatari team Al-Gharafa, Zé Roberto went back to Brazil in May to join 

Grêmio

, helping them finish third in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. On 10 December 2012, he said he wished to retire at Grêmio after extending his deal by a further year. On 9 December 2014, Zé Roberto left Grêmio as the team decided not to sign a new contract with him.

Zé Roberto at Palmeiras

One of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that on 22 December 2014, he moved to Palmeiras on a one-year deal, valid until 31 December 2015. Zé Roberto was instantly appointed club captain, helping them lift the 2015 Copa do Brasil with four goals scored in the tournament.

However, Palmeiras finished in the 9th position in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. He signed a one-year extension to his deal on 19 October 2015, which would keep him in the club until 31 December 2016. 

One of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that he won his first national championship in Brazil on 28 November 2016. After the final match against Chapecoense Zé Roberto said that he would not retire at the end of the season.

Finally, on 9 December, Zé Roberto signed a new contract with Palmeiras, keeping him at the team until the end of 2017. On 24 November, he announced that the match against Botafogo two days later would be the last match of his professional career and he would retire.

Zé Roberto international career

Zé Roberto was a member of the 

Brazil national team

at the 1998 and 2006 FIFA World Cups. In 1998, he helped the Seleção reach the final match, making one appearance, but was an unused substitute as Brazil lost to hosts France 3–0. 

Unfortunately, Zé Roberto was left out of the 2002 FIFA World Cup winning team due to a calf injury. Zé Roberto netted Brazil's third and final goal in a man of the match show in Brazil's second stage game against Ghana in the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals in Germany.

The Brazilian showed his best performance in his position at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Brazilian coach Parreira put the former Bundesliga football player in the central defensive midfield as the engine of the team.

The player played this role in front of the defence so persuasively that he can be regarded as the best Brazilian in the team. Zé Roberto was reasonably elected to the All-Star Team of the 2006 World Cup.

Zé Roberto also helped Brazil win at the 1997 and 1999 editions of the Copa América, netting Brazil's third goal in their 3–1 defeat of Bolivia in the final on 26 June 1997.

He also played for Brazil at the 1997 and 2005 FIFA Confederations Cups in Saudi Arabia and Germany respectively, winning both of trophies. He played the full 90 minutes of the final match in 2005, as Brazil beat rivals Argentina 4–1 on 29 June 2005.

Zé Roberto style of play

Regarding his style of play, one of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that he was capable of playing both as a left-sided defender, and in numerous midfield positions, Zé Roberto was a fast, hard-working, and flexible left-footed football play, who in his prime was known for his technique, vision, and effective style of play, as well as his dribbling, passing, crossing, and tackling skill. 

Zé Roberto started his professional career as an attacking full-back or wing back on the left side, sometimes functioning in a box-to-box role in midfield; he was later deployed as a left-winger, and then in a more creative role, as an attacking midfielder, while he struggled to find space in the Brazil national team in this position, due to the presence of numerous other world-class playmakers in the team. 

One of the top facts about Zé Roberto is that during his spell at Bayern Munich, he excelled together with van Bommel as a defensive midfielder, due to his capability to read the game, break down opposing plays, and consequently start counter-attacks; his proficiency at this new holding role led him to be called up to the Brazilian national side once again, where he also shaped an effective and reliable defensive midfield partnership with Emerson.

Zé Roberto personal life

One of the 

top facts about Zé Roberto

 is that he is married to Luciana, with whom he has three children whose names are Endrik, Miriá, and Isabelli.

Zé Roberto is a faithful Christian. Once he said, "Aside from the fame, the money, from not being able to have anything and today being able to have everything, I find that the difference is to have God in my heart, by accepting Jesus. The money will finish, fame will be forgotten, but God is special. Today I have God and tomorrow I will live with God in a much better place, that is, heaven."

Zé Roberto honours

Club

Real Madrid

  • La Liga in 1996–97

  • Supercopa de España in 1997

  • UEFA Champions League in 1997–98

Bayern Munich

  • Bundesliga in 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08

  • DFB-Pokal in 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08

  • DFL-Ligapokal in 2004, 2007

Santos

  • Campeonato Paulista in 2007

Al-Gharafa

  • Emir of Qatar Cup in 2012

Palmeiras

  • Copa do Brasil in 2015

  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A in 2016

International

Brazil

  • Copa América in 1997, 1999

  • FIFA Confederations Cup in 1997, 2005

  • Lunar New Year Cup in 2005

Individual

  • kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season in 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2007–08

  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 2006

  • Bola de Prata in 2012, 2014

  • Campeonato Paulista Team of the year in 2015

 

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