Zé Maria (footballer, born 1973)

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Zé Maria
Personal information
Full name José Marcelo Ferreira
Date of birth (1973-07-25) 25 July 1973 (age 44)
Place of birth Oeiras, Brazil
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
Playing position Right back
Right midfielder
Club information
Current team
Tirana (manager)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1995 Portuguesa 28 (2)
1993 Sergipe (loan) 38 (5)
1994 Ponte Preta (loan) 22 (0)
1996 Flamengo 13 (1)
1996–1998 Parma 45 (2)
1998–2004 Perugia 144 (16)
1999 Vasco Gama (loan) 34 (4)
1999 Palmeiras (loan) 15 (1)
2000 Cruzeiro (loan) 29 (2)
2004–2006 Internazionale 29 (1)
2006–2007 Levante 14 (0)
2008 Portuguesa 5 (1)
2008–2009 Città Castello
Total 416 (35)
National team
1996–2001 Brazil 25 (0)
Teams managed
2010 Group Castello
2010 Catanzaro
2015 Ceahlăul
2016–2017 Gor Mahia
2017– Tirana
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

José Marcelo Ferreira (born 25 July 1973), commonly known as Zé Maria, is a retired Brazilian footballer and current manager of Albanian First Division side Tirana.

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.

Club career[edit]

Born in Oeiras, Piauí, Zé Maria started his professional career with Portuguesa in 1991, being loaned two times during his contract with the club. In 1996, he signed for Flamengo.

In the summer, Zé Maria moved to Italy after signing with Serie A club Parma, playing regularly for two seasons. Subsequently he remained in Italy, joining 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[1] 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).[2]

Zé Maria settled in Italy after his retirement from football, at the age of 36.[3] He subsequently founded a football school in Perugia.[4]

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.[5] 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.[6]

International career[edit]

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).

In 1996 Zé Maria helped the Olympic team win bronze at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, appearing in all six matches.


  1. ^ Zé Maria snubs Sheffield contract; Mirror, 15 September 2007
  2. ^ "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. 
  3. ^ "A tu per tu...with Zè Maria" [One on one...with Zé Maria] (in Italian). Tutto Mercato. 29 August 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2008. 
  4. ^ "Zé Maria spends week watching Inter train". Inter Milan. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010. 
  5. ^ "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. 
  6. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]