“I love to go back to my country and donate cleats and spend time with the neighborhood kids.”
For the Sockers Defensive Captain, Ze Roberto, old neighborhood means the one in Paraibano, MA, Brazil, where he was born and raised. His love of soccer began on the streets while kicking the ball around with other kids. It became a career goal after he saw it on TV for the first time. He says young soccer players with the same dream need to stay focused and stay humble.
“Don’t get upset. Keep trying and work hard. Be a good listener. The opinion of one doesn’t define you.”
Achieving success on the professional level is the most rewarding part of Roberto’s career. Coaching is a close second. He currently coaches for SDFA (SD Football Academy), being honored as coach of the year in 2015. He also travels to Europe in the summer to coach youth teams in the Gothia Cup in Sweden. When he retires as a player, he’ll continue “coaching the game that I love.”
Off the field, Roberto loves spending time with his wife and five children. He especially enjoys living in San Diego.
“The weather in San Diego is very similar to my home in Brazil. I enjoy the opportunities living here gives my family to be outdoors.”
While he soaks up the SoCal sun, he’s also soaking up the opportunity to play for the Sockers.
“I love playing for the Sockers because of the long history of winning championships, and the Sockers fans are always supportive of all the players.”