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 32)
Place of birth Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Height 1.82 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2002 Salernitana 55 (1)
2003–2007 Messina 116 (5)
2007–2011 Benfica 2 (1)
2008–2010 Vitória Setúbal (loan) 30 (0)
2011 Universitatea Craiova (loan) 14 (0)
2012–2013 Angers 32 (2)
2013–2014 OFI Crete 27 (0)
National team
2003–2010 Ivory Coast 22 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:58, 15 June 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (goals)

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

Club career[edit]

Although not a native of the country, Zoro started playing football in Italy, first with Salernitana Calcio 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 month's 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 side S.L. Benfica, arriving for free. He would only feature in two league games throughout the entire campaign, but scored once in a 2–2 home draw with U.D. Leiria on 9 March 2008.[5] In August he was transfer listed and, on 10 January 2009, underwent a five-day trial at Ewood Park with English Premier League team Blackburn Rovers;[6][7] however, nothing came of it, and he was loaned until the end of the season to fellow top-divisioner Vitória de Setúbal – the arrangement was then extended for the entirety of 2009–10, and he was a regular starter as the Sadinos again barely avoided relegation.

In late January 2011, Zoro was loaned to FC Universitatea Craiova in the Romanian Liga 1.[8] In June his contract with Benfica expired and, on 30 January of the following year, he signed a one and 1/2-year link with Angers SCO in the French Ligue 2.[9]

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.[10][11][12] He was eventually convinced to keep playing by other players, notably Adriano and Obafemi Martins; these facts then brought strong and unanimous condemnations by the whole football community within Italy, and even a 5-minute delay for an anti-racism display for all the matches to be played in the next week in the country.

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.[13][14]

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.

International goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 29 January 2008 Accra, Ghana  Mali 2–0 3–0 2008 Africa Cup of Nations


External links[edit]