Vicente was picked for the squad that appeared in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England. As his adopted nation's team went on to finish in third position, he played in all the group stage games plus the 5–3 quarterfinal win against North Korea; he was accused of fouling Pelé in the 3–1 group stage win, when it was in fact his teammate João Morais who was responsible.
Vicente quit football after the World Cup due to a serious eye injury after a piece of glass hit the organ in a car accident, aged only 30. He was remembered for several perfect markings of the best players of his time without making any foul, and was cited by Pelé as the greatest defender that he ever played against.
Vicente's older brother, Matateu, was also a footballer. A striker, he played 13 years with Belenenses (sharing teams with his sibling during ten), and also represented the Portuguese national team.