Zé Castro playing for Rayo Vallecano in 2014
|Full name||José Eduardo Rosa Vale e Castro|
|Date of birth||13 January 1983|
|Place of birth||Coimbra, Portugal|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|2008–2009||→ Deportivo La Coruña (loan)||29||(1)|
|2009–2013||Deportivo La Coruña||67||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 May 2017.
Born in Coimbra, Castro entered hometown Académica de Coimbra's youth ranks as a child, and made his Primeira Liga debut on 5 October 2003, playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–4 away loss to FC Porto. Despite his young age, he eventually became an undisputed starter and team captain.
In the 2006 off-season, after unfinished advances by Portugal's Big Three, Castro signed with Spanish club Atlético Madrid. In his first year, he benefitted from injuries to teammates, appearing in 22 La Liga matches, with two goals (including an 83rd-minute strike against CA Osasuna for the game's only goal, at home, on 20 January 2007), but featured rarely in the following.
In the summer of 2008, Castro joined fellow league side Deportivo de La Coruña, on a season-long loan, with the Galicians having a buyout clause of €2 million for 50% of the player's rights (the remaining 50% being owned by a company). Again due to injury – habitual starter Pablo Amo was sidelined for months with an Achilles tendon problem – the Portuguese was able to start most of the campaign, and the option was activated for a permanent move.
Zé Castro appeared in only ten games in 2009–10, and featured even less in the following season, prompting him to request a move in mid-November 2010. In March 2011, he was to be picked as a last-minute substitute for a league match against Real Sociedad after Aythami Artiles went down with a bout of gastroenteritis, but did not present himself at the Estadio Riazor, and could not be traced through his cellphone.
Following Depor's two relegations in the space of three seasons, and a promotion in between, Zé Castro returned to both Madrid and the Spanish top flight on 29 August 2013, signing a season's deal at Rayo Vallecano. In early July 2015, the 32-year-old extended that by a further three.
Shortly after his debuts with Académica, Castro became a defensive stalwart for the Portuguese under-21s, and appeared at the 2006 UEFA European Championship on home soil. There, he played in three complete matches as the team exited in the group stage, and scored an own goal in the 0–2 defeat against Serbia.
On 10 June 2009, Castro finally made his full debut, in a 0–0 friendly draw in Estonia. On 10 May of the following year, in spite of a poor season at Deportivo, he was included in a provisional squad of 24 players announced by Carlos Queiroz in view of the 2010 FIFA World Cup; however, after Pepe recovered in time to participate in the competition, he was cut.
- Atlético Madrid
- Atlético step up spending spree; UEFA.com, 30 May 2006
- Atlético Madrid 1–0 Osasuna; ESPN Soccernet, 20 January 2007
- "Ze Castro, pendiente de firma, llega al Deportivo para reforzar el centro de la zaga" [Ze Castro, signature pending, arrives at Deportivo to bolster center of defense] (in Spanish). Deportivo La Coruña. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Ze Castro signs permanent deal with Deportivo La Coruna; PortuGOAL, 3 April 2009
- "El Deportivo ejecuta la opción de compra de Ze Castro" [Deportivo activate Ze Castro buying option] (in Spanish). Deportivo La Coruña. 3 April 2009. Retrieved 1 September 2013.
- Ze Castro wants out of Deportivo; PortuGOAL, 16 November 2010
- What's going on with Ze Castro?; Deportivo La Coruña International Peña, 9 March 2011
- "Zé Castro y Seba Fernández, nuevos jugadores del Rayo" [Zé Castro and Seba Fernández, Rayo's new players]. Diario AS (in Spanish). 29 August 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "Zé Castro renueva por tres años con el Rayo" [Zé Castro renews for three years with Rayo]. Marca (in Spanish). 3 July 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "Ivanović caps Portugal misery". UEFA.com. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
- "Una mediocre Portugal se estrella ante Estonia" [A mediocre Portugal crash against Estonia]. Marca (in Spanish). 10 June 2009. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
- "Queiroz calls Pepe in for Portugal". FIFA.com. 1 June 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2010.