José Luís Vidigal

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Luís Vidigal
Personal information
Full name José Luís da Cruz Vidigal
Date of birth (1973-03-15) 15 March 1973 (age 44)
Place of birth Sá da Bandeira, Angola
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
1984–1992 O Elvas
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1994 O Elvas 60 (3)
1994–1995 Estoril 27 (0)
1995–2000 Sporting CP 110 (5)
2000–2004 Napoli 86 (8)
2004–2005 Livorno 30 (3)
2005–2006 Udinese 23 (1)
2006–2008 Livorno 18 (0)
2008–2009 Estrela Amadora 15 (3)
Total 369 (23)
National team
1994–1995 Portugal U21 7 (1)
2000–2002 Portugal 15 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

José Luís da Cruz Vidigal (born 15 March 1973) is a retired Portuguese footballer who played as a defensive midfielder.

During his extensive professional career, the no-nonsense midfield battler[1] played more years abroad (Italy, eight) than in his country of adoption (seven), where he represented mainly Sporting.

A Portugal international for two years, Vidigal appeared with the national team at Euro 2000, helping them to the third place.

Club career[edit]

Early years / Sporting[edit]

Born in Sá da Bandeira, Portuguese Angola, Vidigal moved to Portugal at an early age, and started his footballing career with amateurs O Elvas CAD, moving in 1994 to the second division with G.D. Estoril-Praia.

The following year, Vidigal signed with another team from the Lisbon area, Sporting Clube de Portugal in the Primeira Liga. After tentative beginnings he became an essential defensive unit, contributing with a career-best – in Portugal – 32 games as the Lions won they first title in 18 years.

Italy spell[edit]

At 27, Vidigal moved to Italy, where he would remain the following eight years: he started out with S.S.C. Napoli after signing along Sporting teammates Facundo Quiroga and Abdelilah Saber,[2] but only played in four Serie A matches in his first year and the team was also relegated (his best individual year – 33 appearances, five goals – was incidentally spent in the Serie B, but they faced another relegation, eventually ending 16th).

Napoli finished higher in 2003–04, but was finally relegated off the pitch. Upon this Vidigal moved to fellow league side A.S. Livorno Calcio, starting throughout most of the season and helping to a comfortable ninth position.

In his final three years Vidigal was irregularly used, often from the bench, representing Udinese Calcio (one year) and returning to Livorno where he played until 2008.

Return to Portugal[edit]

Vidigal returned to his country aged 35, joining modest C.F. Estrela da Amadora where his older brother Lito was coach. In his first game, on 28 September 2008, he scored twice to help beat C.D. Nacional 2–1; however, he missed most of the season due to injury as the capital-based club was also immerse in a severe financial crisis – eventually being relegated from the top flight to the third level; he retired from the game shortly after.

International career[edit]

Vidigal earned 15 caps for Portugal, his first one being on 23 February 2000 in a 1–1 draw with Belgium at Charleroi, in a friendly match. Summoned to UEFA Euro 2000, he had to battle for position with Paulo Bento and Costinha (Paulo Sousa was also called, but was injured), but managed to appear in four games for the national team, including the semi-final loss against France.

Vidigal's last match came on 12 October 2002 in the 1–1 draw with Tunisia played in Lisbon, in another friendly. He also represented the nation at the 1996 Summer Olympics, playing all the games en route to the fourth place.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Vidigal is the second of twelve children, four of his brothers also being footballers: Beto, Lito (whom represented Angola internationally), Toni and Jorge.[4][5][6][7]


External links[edit]