Zé Maria (footballer, born 1973)
|Full name||José Marcelo Ferreira|
|Date of birth||25 July 1973|
|Place of birth||Oeiras, Brazil|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Right back
|1993||→ Sergipe (loan)||38||(5)|
|1994||→ Ponte Preta (loan)||22||(0)|
|1999||→ Vasco Gama (loan)||34||(4)|
|1999||→ Palmeiras (loan)||15||(1)|
|2000||→ Cruzeiro (loan)||29||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Known for his pin-point crosses, he could play either as a right back or right 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, mainly Perugia.
With the Umbrians Zé Maria had a shaky start, being loaned three times back to Brazil, but eventually established himself in the starting line-up, helping his team finish 10th in his third full season whilst contributing with six goals. Via the UEFA Intertoto Cup he and the side reached the third round of the subsequent UEFA Cup, but also suffered domestic relegation.
After two seasons with giants Inter – playing rather regularly in his first but making only eight appearances (mostly as a substitute) 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 club 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 the Valencians barely avoiding relegation.
Released again, Zé Maria entailed unsuccessful negotiations with several teams, reportedly Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers in England, thus returning to Brazil and Portuguesa in January 2008. In August, after having rescinded his contract, he surprisingly accepted an offer from A.S.D. Città di Castello, in the Italian Eccellenza (amateur championships).
On 15 March 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 team F.C. Catanzaro for the 2010–11 campaign, being however removed from his post after a few months.
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).
- Zé Maria snubs Sheffield contract; Mirror, 15 September 2007
- "Dalla A all'Eccellenza: i big del calcio che giocano per divertirsi" [From A to Eccellenza: Football greats who play for fun] (in Italian). La Stampa. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- "A tu per tu...with Zè Maria" [One on one...with Zé Maria] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008.
- "Zé Maria spends week watching Inter train". Inter Milan. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 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. 15 March 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
- "Calcio, Catanzaro: Esonerato Zé Maria, squadra ad aloi" [Football, Catanzaro: Zé Maria sacked, Aloi takes charge of team] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 7 November 2010.