Zé António in action for Mönchengladbach (2006)
|Full name||José António dos Santos Silva|
|Date of birth||14 March 1977|
|Place of birth||Torres Vedras, Portugal|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1998–1999||→ Leça (loan)||13||(0)|
|1999–2000||→ Alverca (loan)||0||(0)|
|2008||→ Manisaspor (loan)||13||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He amassed Primeira Liga totals of 175 games and ten goals over the course of eight seasons, representing in the competition Alverca, Varzim, Académica and União de Leiria. He added 145/12 in the Segunda Liga, in a 21-year senior career.
Zé António also competed professionally in Germany, Turkey and Spain.
Born in Torres Vedras, Lisbon District, Zé António began playing football for hometown's S.C.U. Torreense, being acquired in 1998 by Primeira Liga club FC Porto. However, he never represented other than its B-team – during the first half of the 2000–01 season – and went on to play on loan for Leça F.C. and F.C. Alverca, after which he was definitively sold to the latter in the summer of 2000.
After another top level campaign, with Varzim SC (which ended in relegation), Zé António joined Académica de Coimbra and played there from 2003 to 2005, forming an interesting defensive partnership with Tonel – later of Sporting Clube de Portugal – in his first year.
Avoiding relegation with Académica at the end of 2004–05, Zé António took advantage of his outrunning contract to sign for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga, on a deal lasting for two initial seasons. An undisputed starter throughout the 2005–06 campaign he opened his goalscoring account in just his fourth league appearance with the Germans, heading the winner in a 2–1 home win over MSV Duisburg on 10 September.
Aged 29, Zé António received his first callup for the Portugal national team, being summoned by Luiz Felipe Scolari for UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers against Azerbaijan and Poland. He eventually failed to earn a full cap, and Borussia also suffered relegation in 2007.
In January 2008, after having made no appearances in 2007–08 (division two), Zé António moved on loan to Turkey's Vestel Manisaspor for six months. At the end of June, he switched to Spain and signed a two-year contract with La Liga side Racing de Santander.
In early December 2009, after having appeared only in one Copa del Rey match for the Cantabrians, against Real Murcia, his spell at the club also including a demotion to the B-team and legal action undertaken by the player, Zé António terminated his link. In early January 2010 he returned to his country, joining U.D. Leiria.
Zé António only missed one league game in the 2010–11 season, as Leiria once again managed to retain its top division status. In June 2011 the 34-year-old left the club, returning to action after one year out of football with Porto's reserves in the second level.
- "José António no Alverca" [José António to Alverca]. Record (in Portuguese). 29 July 1999. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "Decision of Dispute Resolution Chamber 210093" (PDF). FIFA.com. 5 February 2010. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
- Borussia M'gladbach 2–1 MSV Duisburg; ESPN Soccernet, 10 September 2005
- "Portugal try out José António". UEFA.com. 28 September 2006. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
- "El Racing ficha al central portugués Ze Antonio" [Racing sign Portuguese stopper Ze Antonio]. Sport (in Spanish). 27 June 2008. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
- Racing roared on by Sepsi signing; UEFA.com, 12 August 2008
- "El Racing acaba pagando su exceso de confianza" [Racing finally pay for overconfidence]. Marca (in Spanish). 29 October 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "¿Qué pasa con Ze Antonio?" [What's up with Ze Antonio?]. El Diario Montañés (in Spanish). 17 September 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "Ze Antonio demandará al Racing para rescindir su contrato" [Ze Antonio to take Racing to court to terminate his contract]. Marca (in Spanish). 23 October 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2014.
- "F.C. Porto B: Zé António, o veterano, vai continuar" [F.C. Porto B: Zé António, the veteran, will continue] (in Portuguese). Mais Futebol. 26 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2017.