Marco Zoro

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Marco Zoro
Marc Zoro.jpg
Zoro with Ivory Coast in the 2008 CAN
Personal information
Full name Marco André Zoro Kpolo
Date of birth (1983-12-27) 27 December 1983 (age 34)
Place of birth Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Centre-back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2002 Salernitana 55 (1)
2003–2007 Messina 116 (5)
2007–2011 Benfica 2 (1)
2008–2010Vitória Setúbal (loan) 30 (0)
2011Universitatea Craiova (loan) 14 (0)
2012–2013 Angers 32 (2)
2013–2014 OFI 27 (0)
2016–2017 Chania 3 (0)
2017 Asteras Amaliada 6 (0)
National team
2003–2010 Ivory Coast 22 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 May 2018

Marco André Zoro Kpolo (born 27 December 1983 in Abidjan), known as Zoro, is an Ivorian professional footballer who plays as a central defender.

Club career[edit]

Although not a native of the country, Zoro started playing football in Italy, first with U.S. Salernitana 1919, without however making his Serie A debuts. The next season he played with the Campania team in the second division and, in January 2003, he joined Sicily's F.C. Messina Peloro, helping the club achieve promotion in June; the team eventually signed him permanently, on a three-year deal.

Several months prior to the expiration of Zoro's deal with Messina, he and his agent Francis Kacou had been locked in talks with the club for a contract extension.[1] "For Zoro, his contract is coming up to expiration and there are difficulties in getting him to renew", said Messina president Pietro Franza in October 2006.[2] "We will see over the coming days when we meet with his agent if we can find a possible understanding." Four months later, however, Zoro blasted, "I've read that some of the management won't talk to me about a new contract because they want to leave me hanging. I find this an insult to my professionalism. I have always trained hard and never let outside things influence me. I will also leave them hanging and see if the right club comes in for me."[3][4] Two days later, he attempted to make amends: "When one of your family is treated poorly, it's normal for that person to be upset. I don't want to air our dirty linen in public. We'll talk about my contract at the end of the season. My priority right now is keeping Messina in Serie A."

On 15 May 2007, Zoro signed a four-year deal with Portuguese club S.L. Benfica, arriving for free. He would only feature in two Primeira Liga games throughout the entire campaign and eventually was made to train on his own,[5] but scored once in a 2–2 home draw with U.D. Leiria on 9 March 2008.[6][7] In August he was transfer-listed and, on 10 January 2009, underwent a five-day trial at Ewood Park with English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers;[8][9] however, nothing came of it, and he was loaned until the end of the season to Vitória F.C. also in the Portuguese top flight[10]– the arrangement was then extended for the entirety of 2009–10,[11] and he was a regular starter as the Sadinos again barely avoided relegation.

In late January 2011, Zoro was loaned to FC Universitatea Craiova from the Romanian Liga I.[12] In June his contract with Benfica expired and, on 30 January of the following year, he signed a one-and-a-half-year link with Angers SCO in the French Ligue 2.[13]

Racist incidents[edit]

Zoro garnered heavy worldwide interest when, on 27 November 2005, he attempted to stop the Messina–Inter Milan match by leaving the field with the ball, after being tormented by racist taunts from some opposing supporters.[14][15][16] He was eventually convinced to keep playing by other players, notably Adriano and Obafemi Martins;[17] this then brought strong and unanimous condemnations by the whole football community within Italy, and a five-minute delay for an anti-racism display in all the matches to be played the next week in the country.[18]

The actions of the Inter supporters were also brought to the attention of the European football governing body UEFA, as well as that of the European Union.[19][20]

International career[edit]

Zoro represented the Ivory Coast national team since 2003, and appeared at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations (where the nation finished second) and the 2006 FIFA World Cup (no matches played). In the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, he netted his first international goal, in a 3–0 win over Mali as the country eventually finished the tournament in fourth position.[21]

International goals[edit]

No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 29 January 2008 Sports Stadium, Accra, Ghana  Mali 2–0 3–0 2008 Africa Cup of Nations


  1. ^ Zoro agent set for Messina contract talks Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Franza unsure over Zoro's Messina deal Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Zoro furious with Messina contract delays Archived 2 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Zoro: "Don't question my Messina commitment" Archived 8 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Zoro: "O Benfica e Vieira trataram-me como um cão!"" [Zoro: "Benfica and Vieira treated me like a dog!"] (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. 22 August 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  6. ^ "Benfica empata com a União de Leiria a dois golos" [Benfica draw with União de Leiria two goals to two] (in Portuguese). Público. 9 March 2008. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  7. ^ Camacho hands in Benfica notice; UEFA, 9 March 2008
  8. ^ Rovers to check on Zoro; Sky Sports, 10 January 2009
  9. ^ Zoro no Blackburn Rovers por período experimental (Zoro on trial with Blackburn Rovers); S.L. Benfica, 10 January 2009 (in Portuguese)
  10. ^ "Zoro emprestado ao Setúbal" [Zoro loaned to Setúbal] (in Portuguese). Diário de Notícias. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Benfica empresta Yebda, Freddy Adu, Zoro e Dabao" [Benfica loan Yebda, Freddy Adu, Zoro and Dabao] (in Portuguese). Relvado. 1 September 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  12. ^ Marco Zoro a semnat cu Craiova (Marco Zoro signed for Craiova); Gazeta Sporturilor, 29 January 2011 (in Romanian)
  13. ^ "Marc-André Zoro s'engage avec Angers Sco" [Marc-André Zoro joins Angers Sco] (in French). Ouest-France. 30 January 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  14. ^ "Zoro suffers more racist abuse". BBC Sport. 27 November 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  15. ^ Chesterton, George (28 November 2005). "Zoro storms off after Inter supporters' racist chanting". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  16. ^ "Zoro takes a stand on racism". UEFA. 28 November 2005. Retrieved 10 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Zoro fails to mask anger at racist abuse". The Daily Telegraph. 28 November 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  18. ^ "Caso Zoro, il calcio contro il razzismo – Tutte le partite con 5' di ritardo" [Zoro Affair, football against racism – All matches with five 5-minute delay] (in Italian). La Repubblica. 28 November 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  19. ^ "European soccer's racism problem". Deutsche Welle. 2 December 2005. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  20. ^ "Racism still a reality in European football". CNN. 20 June 2008. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Ivory Coast – Details of International Matches 2000–2009". RSSSF. Retrieved 8 June 2016. 

External links[edit]