Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Final year for Zé Roberto

Zé Roberto. (Photo:
A Brazilian great is currently playing his final season of professional football: Zé Roberto. After 84 internationals in the famous bright yellow, the 41-year old will call it a career in a Palmeiras shirt. 

It has been just over a year, that the left-footed technical genius was transferred inside of Brazil from Grêmio to Palmeiras. Shortly after, he carried the armband as captain of his new team. He is doing so as fit as ever. Throughout his career, Zé was exemplary when it came to fitness and work ethic. Healthy nutrition, abdiction of alcohol and a lack of any serious injury in his career are the player's secrets. 

"In July, I will be 42", the left-back says. "I still have a contract until the end of the year. Afterwards, I will end my career."

Many big teams decorate the list of Zé Roberto's over 20 years of football. After starting his career with Portuguesa back home, he was signed by Real Madrid, where he should win a Champions-League title in 1998, despite being on loan at Flamengo at the time. Real was not his club, so he moved on to Germany and hit a homerun with that decision. 

In Leverkusen, he turned into an international quality player and finally signed with Bayern Munich in 2002. In both teams, he proved to be a cornerstone before leaving for Santos. In 2007, he came back to Munich for two further years and added stations in Hamburg, Al Gharafa and the aforementioned Grêmio later on. 

After his professional time, he might come back to his second home Germany. Particularly the safety in Brazil has Zé Roberto worried: "Here you can only live in guarded apartment blocks and not very freely. We live with the fear of robberies in the back of our heads, that's different in Germany."

Not only that, the Brazilian also grew to love German food. Zé, you are always welcome here and it would be great to see you in my country again.

On the night from Wednesday to Thursday, Palmeiras and captain Zé Roberto host Nacional in the Copa Libertadores. Kickoff is at 1:45am CET.


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