José Roberto da Silva Jr. (born 6 July 1974 in Ipiranga), commonly known as Zé Roberto, is a Brazilian footballer who currently plays for the Brazilian Série A club Grêmio as midfielder.
1.1 Early career,
1.2 Bayer Leverkusen,
1.3 Bayern Munich and Santos,
1.4 Hamburger SV,
1.6 Return to Brazil,
2 International career,
3 Personal life,
6 External links,
Zé Roberto started the youth ranks of the Lecture of São Bernardo, however, was playing in Portuguesa, as a left-back, where he became known throughout Brazil finishing as runner-up in 1996 Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.
He then joined Real Madrid in 1997 for a brief spell, where he helped them win La Liga, before moving back to Brazil to play for Flamengo. In an interview in 2012, Zé Roberto spoke of his decision to leave Madrid because of his ambition to play for Brazil at the World Cup in France and had limited opportunities to prove his talents in Spain.
Zé passed by Flamengo in 1998 and served in Gávea alongside big names in football like Romário and Palhinha. He played in twenty-four league games, but failed to score. His spell at Flamengo was very short, considering that in that same year 1998, he eventually negotiated a contract with German side Bayer Leverkusen.
He joined Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 1998. It was at Leverkusen that he made a real name for himself, fast becoming a popular figure at the club. During his four year stay at the club, Bayer enjoyed its most successful period, being German Bundesliga runners-up on three occasions.
On 4 December 2001, he opened the scoring with a curling free kick against Deportivo de La Coruña in the 64' minute, as Bayer comprehensively defeated the Spanish side 3-0 in the second group stage of the Champions League. Following Bayer's defeat of Liverpool in the quarterfinals of the Champions League on 9 April 2002, Zé Roberto announced that he would be joining teammate Michael Ballack at Bayern Munich. Despite the transfer distractions, Zé Roberto helped Bayer reach the final of the Champions League on 15 May 2002, losing 2-1 to former club Real Madrid in Glasgow. In four years at the club, Zé Roberto appeared in 113 league matches scoring 16 goals.
Bayern Munich and Santos:
In May 2002, he joined Bayern Munich for a reported fee of €12 million, singing a three year deal, linking up with emerging German talent Sebastian Deisler and Leverkusen teammate Michael Ballack. With Bayern he claimed the domestic league and cup double three times between 2002 and 2006. He found his starting spot threatened under new coach Felix Magath and left the club in 2006. Following the announcement that he would not return to Bayern Munich, he publicly criticized the club's style of play and predicted struggles if changes were not made.
On 31 August 2006, Zé Roberto signed a one-year deal with Santos and helped the team to win the 2007 Campeonato Paulista in a brilliant style. The win was his first and only title (to date) in a Brazilian competition. He scored seven goals in the Copa Libertadores 2007, where Santos reached the semi-finals. During his time with Santos he appeared in 48 official matches scoring 12 goals, playing for the first time in his career as an attacking midfielder.
On 22 June 2007, Bayern Munich officially announced the return of Zé Roberto on a Bosman transfer. He had completed his medical with the German club a day before and was offered a two-year contract.
He stated, "It was as if I'd never been away," en route to winning a fourth domestic double with the Bavarians. During Bayern's 2007-08 season, he scored five goals and was influential in Bayern's domestic and cup double. The revitalised Zé Roberto demonstrated all his newly acquired skills by scoring five goals and forming a rock-solid partnership with Mark van Bommel in his new role in central defensive midfield.
He made a successful start to the 2008-09 season - scoring four goals in his first 11 starts. He would conclude his second spell at the Bavarian club appearing in 59 league matches scoring nine goals.
Zé Roberto left the club at the end of the 2009 season after Bayern executives refused to offer him a new two year deal.
His contract with Bayern ran until 30 June 2009. The club offered him a contract until 2010, though Zé Roberto declined. Bundesliga side Hamburger SV officially announced signing Zé Roberto to a two year contract on 2 July 2009. But Der Spiegel reported Hamburg actually paid €4 million sign-on fees to Zé Roberto's agent Juan Figer, which Bayern also paid €1 million in 2007. In May 2011, Zé Roberto confirmed that he would not renew his contract with the German team, because he wanted a longer contract than the new one offered by the club.
On 10 July 2011, Zé Roberto signed a two-year contract with the Qatari club Al-Gharafa, where he helped his team win the 2012 Emir of Qatar Cup.
Return to Brazil:
After a season with Qatari outfit Al-Gharafa, Zé Roberto returned to Brazil in May to join Gremio, helping them finish 3rd in the league. On 10 December 2012, he expressed his desire to retire at Gremio after extending his contract by a further year.
Zé Roberto was part of the Brazil squads at the 1998 and 2006 World Cups. In 1998, he helped the Seleção to the final, but was an unused substitute as Brazil lost to hosts France 3-0. He was unceremoniously left out of the World Cup winning squad in 2002. Zé Roberto scored Brazil's third and final goal in a man of the match performance in Brazil's second round match against Ghana in the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.
Zé Roberto helped Brazil to wins at the 1997 and 1999 editions of the Copa América, scoring Brazil's third goal in their 3-1 defeat of Bolivia in the final on 26 June 1997.
He also represented Brazil at the 1997 and 2005 FIFA Confederations Cups in Saudi Arabia and Germany respectively, winning both. He played the full ninety minutes of the final in 2005, as Brazil overpowered arch rivals Argentina 4-1 on 29 June 2005.
Zé Roberto is a devout Catholic and is married to Luciana, with whom he has three children: Endrik, Miriá, and Isabelli.
Bundesliga: 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08,
DFB-Pokal: 2002-03, 2004-05, 2005-06, 2007-08,
DFL-Ligapokal: 2004, 2007,
La Liga: 1996-97,
Supercopa de España: 1997,
Campeonato Paulista: 2007,
Emir of Qatar Cup: 2012,
Brazil national team
Copa América: 1997, 1999,
FIFA Confederations Cup: 1997, 2005, Silver 1999,
CONCACAF Gold Cup: Silver 1996,
Lunar New Year Cup: 2005