Sinha (footballer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Zinha)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Antônio Naelson.jpg
Personal information
Full name Antônio Naelson Matias
Date of birth (1976-05-23) May 23, 1976 (age 42)
Place of birth Itajá, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Height 1.63 m (5 ft 4 in)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder
Youth career
1985–1993 América-RN
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Saltillo Soccer 35 (1)
1999 Monterrey 17 (1)
1999–2017 Toluca 524 (61)
2014–2016 Querétaro (loan) 48 (1)
Total 624 (64)
National team
2004–2013 Mexico 59 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Antônio Naelson Matias (May 23, 1976), known as Sinha[1] or Zinha, is a former Brazilian-born Mexican professional footballer. He spent most of his career playing for Deportivo Toluca. He also played for Mexico in the 2006 World Cup.

A creative attacking midfielder, Naelson is known for his vision, pace, dribbling and passing ability. He is also an accurate set-piece taker.


Sinha was born in Itajá, a city located in the northwest of the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte. He began his career playing for Rio Grande do Norte's capital city team América FC.

Sinha measures 163 cm (5 ft 4 in) and weighs 67 kg (147 lb).

Sinha arrived in 1998 to Mexico, when he joined CF Monterrey. In 1999, he moved to Toluca. Sinha is widely known for his dribbling skills, his accurate passing and his intelligence on the pitch as well as his leadership and long distance shot.

On February 12, 2017, Sinha achieved 600 official caps(including cup matches) with Toluca. This coincided with Toluca's 100 year anniversary.[2]

On April 30, 2017, Sinha was given a brief ceremony at the Estadio Nemesio Diez during the last home regular season game for Toluca.[3]

International career[edit]

He was part of the Mexican 2004 Olympic football team, who exited in the first round, having finished third in group A, below group winners Mali and South Korea.

He has also been called up to play for Mexico, although he is a Brazilian-born player, he became a naturalized Mexican citizen, after settling in Mexico for several years. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Sinha became the first foreign-born player to score a goal for Mexico in a World Cup tournament, scoring against Iran. He was called up to play again for Mexico, thus making him the first naturalized to be called up by Hugo Sánchez.

In 2005, he played in the Confederations Cup scoring a goal against Japan that helped Mexico win the match. Mexico finished in fourth place in the tournament. He was also called up for the national team to play in the Gold Cup.

During the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Sinha, and four other members of the Mexico national team tested positive for the banned substance of Clenbuterol and were removed from the team's tournament squad.[4] However, all players were exonerated as FIFA determined that the accused had accidentally ingested the banned substance through contaminated meat that had been served during a pre-tournament training camp.[5]

However, World Anti-Doping Agency appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to request a ban.[6] But on 12 October 2011 WADA withdrew this request after the full file was available for them.[7]

His final competitive match would come during a difficult time for the Mexico national team, as they barely qualified for the World Cup playoff against New Zealand.[8] Miguel Herrera found it necessary to only call up Liga MX players thus including the veteran Sinha on his roster. Sinha would sub in during both legs of the play-offs as Mexico successfully advanced to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[9]




International goals[edit]

Scores and results list Mexico's goal tally first.
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1. October 13, 2004 Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Puebla, Mexico  Trinidad and Tobago 1–0 3–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
2. March 27, 2005 Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico  United States 2–0 2–1 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
3. June 4, 2005 Estadio Mateo Flores, Guatemala City, Guatemala  Guatemala 1–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. June 16, 2005 AWD-Arena, Hanover, Germany  Japan 1–1 2–1 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup
5. June 11, 2006 Frankenstadion, Nuremberg, Germany  Iran 3–1 3–1 2006 FIFA World Cup
6. June 4, 2008 Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States  Argentina 1–3 1–4 Friendly


External links[edit]