José Marcelo Ferreira, aka Zé Maria (born July 25, 1973 in Oeiras, Piauí), is a former professional association footballer and a current manager.
Known for his pin-point crosses, he could play either as a right defender or midfielder, and played the vast majority of his professional career, other than in his country, in Italy's Serie A, where he represented three teams, namely Perugia Calcio.
Club career 
Zé Maria started his professional career with Associação Portuguesa de Desportos in 1991, being loaned two times for the duration of his link. In 1996, he signed for Clube de Regatas do Flamengo.
In the summer, Maria moved to Italy after signing with Serie A side Parma FC, playing regularly for two seasons. Subsequently, he stayed in the country, joining lowly Perugia Calcio.
With the Umbria side, he had a shaky start, being loaned three times back to his country, but eventually established himself in the starting XI, helping the club finish 10th in his third full season, whilst contributing with six goals; via the UEFA Intertoto Cup, he helped his team reach the third round of the subsequent UEFA Cup, but also suffered domestic relegation.
After two average seasons with giants F.C. Internazionale Milano – only eight appearances in his second (with Inter winning the Scudetto courtesy of the Calciocaos affair), 49 official ones overall – Zé Maria was released and joined La Liga side Levante UD on a free transfer. Starting the season as first-choice right-back, the 33-year old lost the position and finished with 14 league appearances, with Levante barely avoiding relegation.
Released again, Maria entailed unsuccessful negotiations with several clubs, reportedly Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers in England, thus returning to Brazil and Portuguesa in January 2008. On August, after having rescinded his contract, he surprisingly accepted an offer from A.S.D. Città di Castello, an Eccellenza side (amateur level) in Italy.
Zé Maria settled in Italy after his retirement from football, at the age of 36. He subsequently founded a football school in Perugia.
On March 15, 2010, Zé Maria took his first head coaching job, accepting Serie D club S.S.D. Group Città di Castello's offer. He was then appointed manager of fourth division club F.C. Catanzaro for the 2010–11 season, being however removed from his post after a few months.
International career 
Zé Maria gained 25 caps for Brazil over a period of five years. He was not selected for any FIFA World Cup, but did participate in two FIFA Confederations Cups – including the original in Saudi Arabia, which the national team won, and one Copa América (also ended in win, in Bolivia).
In 1996, Maria helped the Olympic team win bronze at the 1996 Summer Olympics, in Atlanta, appearing in all six matches.
- ^ Zé Maria snubs Sheffield contract; Mirror, September 15, 2007
- ^ "Dalla A all'Eccellenza: i big del calcio che giocano per divertirsi" [From A to Eccellenza: Football greats who play for fun]. La Stampa (in Italian) (Italy). August 29, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
- ^ "A tu per tu...with Zè Maria" [One on one...with Zé Maria] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato. August 29, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008.
- ^ "Zé Maria spends week watching Inter train". Inter Milan. January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2010.
- ^ "Storie di ex – Zè Maria diventa allenatore del Group Città di Castello" [About ex – Zé Maria becomes Group Città di Castello's coach] (in Italian). Gazzetta di Parma. March 15, 2010. Retrieved March 15 March 15, 2010.
- ^ "Calcio, Catanzaro: Esonerato Zé Maria, squadra ad aloi" [Football, Catanzaro: Zé Maria sacked, Aloi takes charge of team]. La Repubblica (in Italian) (Italy). November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
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