Zé Roberto

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For other people named Zé Roberto, see Zé Roberto (disambiguation).
Zé Roberto
Zé Roberto.JPG
Zé Roberto after practice with HSV in 2010.
Personal information
Full name José Roberto da Silva Júnior
Date of birth (1974-07-06) 6 July 1974 (age 40)
Place of birth São Paulo, Brazil
Height 1.72 m (5 ft 7 12 in)
Playing position Central midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 10
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1997 Portuguesa 61 (1)
1997–1998 Real Madrid 15 (0)
1998 Flamengo 24 (0)
1998–2002 Bayer Leverkusen 113 (17)
2002–2006 Bayern Munich 110 (5)
2006–2007 Santos 48 (12)
2007–2009 Bayern Munich 59 (9)
2009–2011 Hamburger SV 54 (7)
2011–2012 Al-Gharafa 14 (1)
2012– Grêmio 93 (15)
National team
1995–2006 Brazil 84 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 5 July 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

José Roberto da Silva Júnior (born 6 July 1974), commonly known as Zé Roberto, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the Grêmio. Usually playing as a left wing back, Zé Roberto is best known for his dribbling ability.[1]


Early career[edit]

Zé Roberto started the youth ranks of the Lecture of São Bernardo, however, was playing in Portuguesa, as a left-back, where he became known throughout Brazil finishing as runner-up in 1996 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

He then joined Real Madrid in 1997 for a brief spell, where he helped them win La Liga,[2] before moving back to Brazil to play for Flamengo. In an interview in 2012, Zé Roberto spoke of his decision to leave Madrid because of his ambition to play for Brazil at the World Cup in France and had limited opportunities to prove his talents in Spain.[3]

Zé passed by Flamengo in 1998 and served in Gávea alongside big names in football like Romário and Palhinha. He played in twenty-four league games, but failed to score. His spell at Flamengo was very short, considering that in that same year 1998, he eventually negotiated a contract with German side Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayer Leverkusen[edit]

He joined Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 1998.[4] It was at Leverkusen that he made a real name for himself, fast becoming a popular figure at the club. During his four year stay at the club, Bayer enjoyed its most successful period, being German Bundesliga runners-up on three occasions.

On 4 December 2001, he opened the scoring with a curling free kick against Deportivo de La Coruña in the 64th minute, as Bayer comprehensively defeated the Spanish side 3–0 in the second group stage of the Champions League.[5] Following Bayer's defeat of Liverpool in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on 9 April 2002,[6] Zé Roberto announced that he would be joining teammate Michael Ballack at Bayern Munich.[7] Despite the transfer distractions, Zé Roberto helped Bayer reach the final of the Champions League on 15 May 2002, losing 2–1 to former club Real Madrid in Glasgow.[8] In four years at the club, Zé Roberto appeared in 113 league matches scoring 16 goals.

Bayern Munich and Santos[edit]

Zé Roberto with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in the Bundesliga in 2006

In May 2002, he joined Bayern Munich for a reported fee of €12 million, signing a three year deal, linking up with emerging German talent Sebastian Deisler and Leverkusen teammate Michael Ballack.[9][10] With Bayern he claimed the domestic league and cup double three times between 2002 and 2006. He found his starting spot threatened under new coach Felix Magath and left the club in 2006. Following the announcement that he would not return to Bayern Munich, he publicly criticized the club's style of play and predicted struggles if changes were not made.

On 31 August 2006, Zé Roberto signed a one-year deal with Santos[11] and helped the team to win the 2007 Campeonato Paulista in a brilliant style.[12] The win was his only title (to date) in a Brazilian competition. He scored seven goals in the Copa Libertadores 2007, where Santos reached the semi-finals. During his time with Santos he appeared in 48 official matches scoring 12 goals, playing for the first time in his career as an attacking midfielder.

On 22 June 2007, Bayern Munich officially announced the return of Zé Roberto on a Bosman transfer. He had completed his medical with the German club a day before and was offered a two-year contract.[13]

He stated, "It was as if I’d never been away," en route to winning a fourth domestic double with the Bavarians. During Bayern's 2007–08 season, he scored five goals and was influential in Bayern's domestic and cup double. The revitalised Zé Roberto demonstrated all his newly acquired skills by scoring five goals and forming a rock-solid partnership with Mark van Bommel in his new role in central defensive midfield.[14]

He made a successful start to the 2008–09 season – scoring four goals in his first 11 starts. He would conclude his second spell at the Bavarian club appearing in 59 league matches scoring nine goals.

Zé Roberto left the club at the end of the 2009 season after Bayern executives refused to offer him a new two year deal.[15]

Hamburger SV[edit]

His contract with Bayern ran until 30 June 2009. The club offered him a contract until 2010, though Zé Roberto declined.[16] Bundesliga side Hamburger SV officially announced signing Zé Roberto to a two year contract on 2 July 2009.[17][18] But Der Spiegel reported Hamburg actually paid €4 million sign-on fees to Zé Roberto's agent Juan Figer, which Bayern also paid €1 million in 2007.[19][20] In May 2011, Zé Roberto confirmed that he would not renew his contract with the German team, because he wanted a longer contract than the new one offered by the club.[21]

Zé Roberto during his time in the Middle East


On 10 July 2011, Zé Roberto signed a two-year contract with the Qatari club Al-Gharafa,[22] where he helped his team win the 2012 Emir of Qatar Cup.

Return to Brazil[edit]

After a season with Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, Zé Roberto returned to Brazil in May to join Grêmio, helping them finish 3rd in the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A. On 10 December 2012, he expressed his desire to retire at Grêmio after extending his contract by a further year.[23]

International career[edit]

Zé Roberto was part of the Brazil squads at the 1998[24] and 2006 World Cups.[25] In 1998, he helped the Seleção to the final, but was an unused substitute as Brazil lost to hosts France 3-0.[26][27] He was unceremoniously left out of the World Cup winning squad in 2002.[28] Zé Roberto scored Brazil's third and final goal in a man of the match performance in Brazil's second round match against Ghana in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.[29]

Zé Roberto helped Brazil to wins at the 1997 and 1999 editions of the Copa América, scoring Brazil's third goal in their 3–1 defeat of Bolivia in the final on 26 June 1997.[30]

He also represented Brazil at the 1997 and 2005 FIFA Confederations Cups in Saudi Arabia and Germany respectively, winning both. He played the full ninety minutes of the final in 2005, as Brazil overpowered arch rivals Argentina 4–1 on 29 June 2005.[31]

Personal life[edit]

Zé Roberto is a devout Catholic and is married to Luciana, with whom he has three children: Endrik, Miriá, and Isabelli.[32]



Real Madrid
Bayern Munich





  1. ^ "Zé Roberto da Silva Júnior". data2.7m.cn. Retrieved 16 May 2014. 
  2. ^ "Zé Roberto é anunciado oficialmente como novo reforço do Grêmio" (in Portuguese). Zero Hora. 3 April 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  3. ^ Coerts, Stefan (30 July 2012). "I would have succeeded at Real Madrid with more patience, claims Ze Roberto". Goal.com. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  4. ^ "Ze Roberto: Skilful players can play anywhere". FIFA. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "Leverkusen humble Deportivo". UEFA. 4 December 2001. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "Leverkusen joy as Liverpool fall". UEFA. 9 April 2002. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Fudge, Simon. "Ze Roberto claims Bayern move". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Madrid win ninth European crown". UEFA. 15 May 2002. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  9. ^ "Ze Roberto signs for Bayern". Published by Sports Illustrated. AP. 17 May 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Bayern sign Ze Roberto". BBC Sport. 17 May 2002. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Santos anuncia contratação de Zé Roberto". O Globo Online (in Portuguese). 31 August 2006. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "São Paulo State Championship 2007". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  13. ^ "Zé Roberto seals return to Bayern". FC Bayern Munich. 22 June 2007. Retrieved 25 September 2007. 
  14. ^ "Bayern wait on duo". FIFA. 29 January 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  15. ^ "Ze Roberto leaves Bayern". Soccer News. 3 June 2009. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  16. ^ "Klinsmann lässt Butt ran" (in German). kicker.de. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  17. ^ "HSV verpflichtet Zé Roberto" (in German). hsv.de. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 2 July 2009. [dead link]
  18. ^ "HSV seal Zé Roberto signature". UEFA.com. 2 July 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  19. ^ "Report: Ze Roberto not as free as initially thought". The Earth Times. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  20. ^ "HSV kaufte Zé Roberto vom uruguayischen Club Nacional Montevideo". Der Spiegel (in German). 29 August 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2010. 
  21. ^ "Zé Roberto to leave HSV". hsv.de. 6 May 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  22. ^ "Zé Roberto hat noch nicht genug" (in German). kicker.de. 10 July 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  23. ^ "Ze Roberto extends Gremio deal". soccerway.com. 11 December 2012. Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "Brazil". Travel Notes. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  25. ^ "For Brazil, anything less than title is a disappointment". Sports Illustrated. 20 March 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Brazil – France 0:3". FIFA. 12 July 1998. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  27. ^ "Host nation routs Brazilians 3–0 in World Cup final". Sports Illustrated. 1 December 1998. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "Romario left out of Brazil's squad". Sports Illustrated. 6 May 2002. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  29. ^ "Ronaldo became the highest scorer in World Cup finals history as Brazil beat Ghana to book a quarter-final place against France". BBC Sport. 27 June 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  30. ^ "Final". RSSSF. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Brazil – Argentina 4:1". FIFA. 29 June 2005. Retrieved 23 November 2012. 
  32. ^ "Zé Roberto Profile". Bayern Munich website. [dead link]

External links[edit]