Marco Almeida (footballer born 1977)
|Full name||António Bernardo P. Marco Almeida|
|Date of birth||4 April 1977|
|Place of birth||Barreiro, Portugal|
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1998–1999||→ Campomaiorense (loan)||21||(2)|
|1999||→ Southampton (loan)||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Almeida was born in Barreiro, Setúbal, and started his senior career at Sporting Clube Lourinhanense in 1996, with the former side then acting as feeder club to the Primeira Liga giants. In 1998–99, still in the top level, he was again loaned, now to S.C. Campomaiorense.
In July 1999 Almeida was signed by Southampton's manager Dave Jones on a year's loan, with a view to a permanent move. After impressing in pre-season friendlies he made his first-team debut as a 71st minute substitute for Claus Lundekvam in a Premier League match against Arsenal at the Dell, on 19 September 1999: within eight minutes, he was alongside fellow substitute Thierry Henry just outside the Southampton area, when the latter received a pass from Tony Adams; in trying to clear the ball, Almeida stumbled, allowing Henry to wrap his foot around the ball and send a rocket of a shot into the far corner of the Southampton net, the Frenchman's first goal in English football.
Although Almeida made a few appearances for the Saints' reserves, including scoring in a 2–2 draw with Chelsea on 22 September 1999, he was never again called into the first team and, in December, the loan was cancelled. In the same country he would also have unsuccessful trials with Bolton Wanderers in September 2000 and with Cardiff City (managed by former Saints boss Dave Jones) in 2007; following his Southampton spell he returned to Sporting, being released in the following summer after which he re-joined Campomaiorense, now as a free agent.
Almeida's most steady period came at F.C. Alverca, which he helped promote from second division in his second year, netting a career-best six times in 32 games. After three seasons he moved abroad again, going almost unnoticed at Ciudad de Murcia (Spanish second division), and he subsequently returned to his country, playing one season apiece with second-tier outfits F.C. Maia and Portimonense SC.
In the following years Almeida, already in his 30's, alternated between his country's lower levels and Cypriot football.