Ricardo Rocha (Portuguese footballer)

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For other uses, see Ricardo Rocha (disambiguation).
This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Rocha and the second or paternal family name is Azevedo.
Ricardo Rocha
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Sérgio Rocha Azevedo
Date of birth (1978-10-03) 3 October 1978 (age 35)
Place of birth Santo Tirso, Portugal
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Youth career
1990–1995 ARC Areias
1995–1996 Famalicão
1996–1997 Vitória Guimarães
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1997–1999 Famalicão 28 (2)
1999–2000 Braga B 35 (2)
2000–2001 Braga 44 (2)
2002–2007 Benfica 115 (3)
2007–2009 Tottenham Hotspur 14 (0)
2009–2010 Standard Liège 7 (0)
2010–2013 Portsmouth 93 (0)
Total 336 (9)
National team
2002–2006 Portugal 6 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Ricardo Sérgio Rocha Azevedo (born 3 October 1978), known as Rocha, is a Portuguese former professional footballer who played mainly as a central defender.

After starting out professionally with Braga he signed for Benfica in late 2001, going on to appear in 157 official games with the latter club. He spent the vast majority of his remaining career in England, with Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth, competing in three Premier League seasons overall.

Club career[edit]

Portugal[edit]

Rocha was born in Santo Tirso, Porto District. Having made a name for himself with perennial UEFA Cup qualification candidates Sporting de Braga and making his first division debuts during the 1999–2000 season, he moved to national giants S.L. Benfica in December 2001, along with teammates Armando Sá and Tiago (in Rocha's case the move was made official in June of the following year), and eventually developed into a fierce stopper with good marking ability.

During his four 1/2 seasons with the Lisbon club, Rocha made a total of 157 appearances and scored three goals, which included 33 games in European competitions. He added 25 matches in the 2004–05 league campaign, as the Reds ended an 11-year drought and conquered the national championship.

On 28 March 2006, Rocha had a widely lauded performance in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals first leg against eventual champions FC Barcelona, marking Ronaldinho out of the game in a 0–0 home draw and 0–2 aggregate loss.[1]

Abroad[edit]

On 17 January 2007, stories hit the Portuguese and English media confirming that a move to Tottenham Hotspur was a possibility. The following day, Portuguese newspapers reported that the move was imminent following a meeting in Lisbon between Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, former Tottenham player turned agent Ronny Rosenthal and the Benfica president, with a price of 5 million (£3.2m) plus two friendlies between the clubs, with Benfica receiving all profits from the gate receipts and television money, being arranged.

Rocha was signed by Tottenham for an undisclosed fee thought to be around £3.3 million on a three-and-half-year deal, on 23 January 2007.[2] He played his first game on 27 January in the 3–1 win over Southend United in the FA Cup fourth round, in place of captain Ledley King who was injured at the time; on 10 February he made his first Premier League appearance for the Spurs, against Sheffield United.

Rocha played just five games for Tottenham in 2007–08, and none whatsoever in all competitions in the following season.[3] He was eventually released on 14 June 2009, after his contract expired.[4]

On 31 August 2009 Rocha moved to Belgium with Standard Liège, on a one-year deal.[5] However, his contract was terminated on 30 January 2010; on 1 February he returned to England, signing a two-year deal with Portsmouth[6] and making his debut in a 0–5 defeat at Manchester United five days later.[7]

Rocha was sent off in his next two Portsmouth games, against Sunderland on 9 February[8] and late-on in his return game against Burnley, on the 27th.[9] Things improved for the defender when he put in a Man of the match performance in Portsmouth's FA Cup semi-final victory over former club Spurs.[10]

In the 2010 summer Portsmouth offered Rocha a new contract,[11] and, on 4 September, he re-signed with the club,[12] with the two-year deal being officially confirmed by the team six days later.[13] He was sent off in two consecutive games, against Reading (0–2 loss) and Cardiff City (0–3 defeat), finishing the season with 29 league appearances as his team ranked in 16th position.

In his second season at Portsmouth Rocha, along with Dave Kitson, fell out of favor with Steve Cotterill, but the manager left for Nottingham Forest in mid-October 2011.[14] He was awarded the team's Player of the Season award, but the side was relegated to Football League One.[15]

On 6 October 2012, Leeds United announced that 34-year-old Rocha had been trialling with the club for a period of ten days.[16] On 19 November, however, he re-signed for Portsmouth on an initial one-month contract.[17]

International career[edit]

After making his debut for Portugal on 20 November 2002 against Scotland, Rocha returned for a friendly with Denmark and a UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier against Finland after a three-year absence, as he was not a regular starter at Benfica then.[18]

Honours[edit]

Team[edit]

Benfica
Portsmouth

Individual[edit]

Portsmouth

Statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of 6 April 2013
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other[19] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Braga 2000–01 19 0 0 0 - - - - 19 0
2001–02 25 2 0 0 - - - - 25 2
Total 44 2 0 0 - - - - 44 2
Benfica 2002–03 27 0 0 0 - - - - 27 0
2003–04 25 0 4 0 - - 10 0 39 0
2004–05 25 0 2 0 - - 7 0 34 0
2005–06 26 0 4 0 - - 9 0 39 0
2006–07 12 3 1 0 - - 5 0 18 3
Total 115 3 11 0 - - 31 0 157 3
Tottenham Hotspur 2006–07 9 0 3 0 1 0 - - 13 0
2007–08 5 0 - - - - - - 5 0
2008–09 0 0 - - - - - - 0 0
Total 14 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 18 0
Standard Liège 2009–10 7 0 2 0 - - 4 0 13 0
Total 7 0 2 0 0 0 4 0 13 0
Portsmouth 2009–10 10 0 2 0 - - - - 12 0
2010–11 29 0 0 0 0 0 - - 29 0
2011–12 33 0 1 0 1 0 - - 35 0
2012–13 21 0 0 0 0 0 - - 21 0
Total 93 0 3 0 1 0 - - 97 0
Career Total 271 5 19 0 2 0 35 0 327 5

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ronaldinho's shadow back again". UEFA.com. 5 April 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Spurs snap up Portugal star Rocha". BBC Sport. 23 January 2007. 
  3. ^ "Spurs defender wants to leave". Epping Forest Guardian. 14 May 2008. 
  4. ^ "Rocha exits Spurs". Sky Sports. 1 June 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2009. 
  5. ^ "Standard snap up free agent Rocha". UEFA.com. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 20 April 2010. 
  6. ^ "Portsmouth sign former Spurs defender". Ontheminute. 3 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Man United 5–0 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 6 February 2010. Retrieved 6 February 2010. 
  8. ^ "Portsmouth 1–1 Sunderland". BBC Sport. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 9 February 2010. 
  9. ^ "Burnley 1–2 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. 27 February 2010. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  10. ^ "Portuguese man-of-war Rocha dedicates victory to fans". The News. 12 April 2010. 
  11. ^ "Portsmouth move to re-sign Portuguese defender Rocha". Tribal Football. 3 September 2010. 
  12. ^ "Lawrence, Kitson & Rocha can kick start our season". Vital Pompey. 4 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Pompey sign Kanu and Rocha". Portsmouth FC. 10 September 2010. 
  14. ^ "Steve Cotterill exit has united Portsmouth, says Dave Kitson". BBC Sport. 19 October 2011. 
  15. ^ "Ricardo Rocha named Pompey Player of the Year". Portsmouth News. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 7 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Running the rule over Ricardo". Leeds United AFC. 6 October 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Rocha rejoins Pompey". Portsmouth FC. 19 November 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Portugal answer Martins' prayers". UEFA.com. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  19. ^ Including League Trophy, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup

External links[edit]