Zeca (Greek footballer)
Zeca in action with Panathinaikos in 2011
|Full name||José Carlos Gonçalves Rodrigues|
|Date of birth||31 August 1988|
|Place of birth||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.82 m (5 ft 11 1⁄2 in)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 April 2017.
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 25 March 2017
José Carlos Gonçalves Rodrigues (born 31 August 1988), commonly known as Zeca (Greek: Ζέκα), is a professional footballer who plays for Greek club Panathinaikos FC and the Greek national team mainly as a midfielder but also as a right back.
He spent most of his career in Greece with Panathinaikos after starting out at Casa Pia, appearing in more than 200 competitive games for the former club and winning the 2014 Greek Cup. In March 2017, he became a Greek citizen.
Born in Lisbon, Zeca started his career with local Casa Pia AC, joining joined the club's youth system at the age of 10 and promoting to the fourth division in his first season as a senior. In the 2010 summer he moved straight into the Primeira Liga, signing with Vitória de Setúbal.
On 29 July 2011, Zeca signed a four-year contract with Greek giants Panathinaikos FC for a fee of €400,000, as the club was coached by countryman Jesualdo Ferreira. He played all 30 league games in 2012–13, but Pana could only finish in sixth place. After a massive rebuilding for the following campaign, he was one of the few survivors.
On 26 April 2014, after more than 100 appearances with the club, Zeca lifted the Greek Cup as team captain, in a final against PAOK FC at the Olympic stadium in Athens. On 21 June, he signed a three-year contract extension.
In February 2015, Zeca expressed his desire to play for the Greece national team if he was awarded the country's citizenship. He agreed to renew his contract until 2018 two months later, commenting on the deal: "It will be good to continue with Anastasiou in charge. ... The team is happy and I think we can do a lot better under him".
On 6 February 2016, Andrea Stramaccioni's team ended the match with ten players, as Zeca was shown a straight red card at a 0–1 home loss against Skoda Xanthi FC. Eight days later, after returning from suspension, he again received his marching orders, but in an eventual 3–0 win at PAS Giannina FC.
On 9 August 2016, Zeca extended his contract until the summer of 2019 for an undisclosed fee.
Having completed five years of residence and professional status in Greece, Zeca became eligible for its citizenship in the beginning of 2017. He passed the relevant language and history exams in November 2016, becoming available for national side manager Michael Skibbe in the middle of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign. He earned his first cap on 25 March 2017, coming on as a late substitute in a 1–1 away draw against Belgium.
- As of 9 April 2017
(** Includes Taça da Liga and Greek Playoffs)
- As of 25 March 2017
- Παναθηναϊκός: Ζέκα σημαίνει… αρχηγός (videos+photos) (in Greek). Onsports. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Έλληνας ο Ζέκα!" [Zeca the Greek!] (in Greek). Panathinaikos FC. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 11 March 2017.
- Η αναζήτηση για τον αντί-Λάζαρο [The seek for anti-Lazaros] (in Greek). Kitzbühel: In.gr. 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Επίσημη πρόταση ΠΑΟ για Ζεκά", γράφουν οι Πορτογάλοι ["Official offer of PAO for Zeca", the Portuguese say] (in Greek). Athens: In.gr. 22 July 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Ο Ζεκά υπέγραψε για 4 χρόνια [Zeca signed for 4 years] (in Greek). Athens: In.gr. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Με συγκρατημένη αισιοδοξία ο Παναθηναϊκός "πάτησε" Δανία [Optimistic Panathinaikos "stepped" on Denmark] (in Greek). Athens: In.gr. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- "Panathinaikos sign Zeca, Jesualdo Ferreira swoops for Vitoria de Setubal midfielder". PortuGOAL. 26 July 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Παναθηναϊκός: Η 100άρα του Ζέκα [Panathinaikos: Zeca's 100] (in Greek). Onsports. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- "Berg treble helps Panathinaikos win Greek Cup". Reuters. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
- Ανανέωσε ο Ζέκα (in Greek). Contra. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Παναθηναϊκός: Ανανέωσε ο Ζέκα! [Panathinaikos: Zeca renews!] (in Greek). Onsports. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2014.
- Zeca open for Greece call up. SDNA. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
- "Zeca hails Anastasiou". SDNA. 4 April 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015.
- "SKODA Xanthi stun Panathinaikos (vid)". SDNA. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "10-man Panathinaikos leave Giannina victorious (vids)". SDNA. 14 February 2016. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
- "Στον Παναθηναϊκό μέχρι το 2019 ο Ζέκα" [Zeca with Panathinaikos until 2019] (in Greek). Sport 24. 9 August 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2016.
- "Panathinaikos' captain Zeca to gain Greek citizenship in 2017". SDNA. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Έτοιμος για την Εθνική Ελλάδας δηλώνει ο Ζέκα" [Ready for the Greek national team says Zeca] (in Greek). Contra. 30 December 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "Brave 10-man Greece snatches vital point in Brussels". Kathimerini. 26 March 2017. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
- "Zeca". Soccerway. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
- "Zeca". European Football. Retrieved 26 March 2017.