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José Fonte facts for kids

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This is a Portuguese name; the first family name is da Rocha and the second is Fonte.
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José Fonte
José Fonte (cropped) 2.jpg
Fonte playing for Portugal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Personal information
Full name José Miguel da Rocha Fonte
Date of birth 22 December 1983 (1983-12-22) (age 37)
Place of birth Penafiel, Portugal
Height 1.91 m
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current club Lille
Number 6
Youth career
1991–1994 Penafiel
1994–2002 Sporting CP
1997–2000 → Sacavenense (loan)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 Sporting CP B 59 (0)
2004–2005 Felgueiras 28 (1)
2005–2006 Vitória Setúbal 15 (0)
2006–2008 Benfica 0 (0)
2006 Paços Ferreira (loan) 11 (1)
2006–2007 → Estrela Amadora (loan) 25 (1)
2007–2008 Crystal Palace (loan) 22 (1)
2008–2010 Crystal Palace 60 (5)
2010–2017 Southampton 260 (15)
2017–2018 West Ham United 24 (0)
2018 Dalian Yifang 7 (0)
2018– Lille 97 (7)
National team
2006 Portugal U21 1 (0)
2006 Portugal B 1 (0)
2014– Portugal 46 (0)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16 May 2021.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 13:57, 26 June 2021 (UTC)

José Miguel da Rocha Fonte ComM (born 22 December 1983) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Ligue 1 club Lille and the Portugal national team.

Fonte started his professional career with Sporting CP B, moving to England with Crystal Palace in 2007. He signed for Southampton in 2010, where he made 288 appearances in all competitions, until he joined West Ham United in January 2017. He then represented Dalian Yifang in China and Lille in France, winning the Ligue 1 title with the latter in the 2020–21 season.

A Portuguese international since age 30, Fonte was part of the squad at two UEFA European Championship and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, winning UEFA Euro 2016.

Club career

Portugal

Born in Penafiel, Fonte finished his football education (after already having played there from ages 10 to 13) at Sporting CP. He only appeared with Sporting CP B as a senior, in the third division. He signed with Salgueiros in 2004, but the club was in severe financial difficulties and was liquidated shortly thereafter; as a result, he terminated his contract and transferred to Felgueiras in the Segunda Liga.

In the 2005 off-season, Fonte made his Primeira Liga debut with Vitória de Setúbal, where his performances attracted the eye of Benfica, who signed him in January 2006. He was immediately loaned out to fellow league team Paços de Ferreira. He finished the season with 26 league appearances and 1 goal, during a 2–2 away draw against Penafiel in which he also scored two in his own net– as both Paços and Setúbal managed to retain their status.

Fonte spent the 2006–07 season on loan to Estrela da Amadora, still in the top division, only missing five league games as the Lisbon-based club finished in ninth position.

Crystal Palace

In July 2007, Fonte moved on loan to Crystal Palace in England, being introduced in the team's starting line-up after a run of injuries. The move was made permanent at the end of the 2007–08 season, as Palace finished fifth and qualified to the promotion play-offs.

Fonte continued to feature regularly with the Londoners in the Football League Championship, even appearing as a makeshift striker when required.

Southampton

Audi- quattro-Cup 01
Fonte playing for Southampton in 2017

Fonte signed for Southampton on 9 January 2010 for a fee believed to be around the region of £1.2 million, signing a three-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut one week later alongside two other recent signings, Jon Otsemobor and Danny Seaborne, in a 1–1 draw away to Millwall. His first goal for Southampton came on 28 August, in a 4–0 away win over Bristol Rovers.

After scoring seven league goals and helping Southampton win promotion to the second tier, Fonte was named in the League One Team of the Year for the 2010–11 season. He was also voted Southampton's Player of Year, achieving 64% of the vote, with Adam Lallana coming second with 18% and Dan Harding finishing third with 7%.

On 29 December 2011, Fonte signed a new contract keeping him at the club until June 2015. Southampton were top of the table when he signed, with the player having appeared in every league game at that point in the season. He eventually contributed 42 matches and 1 goal, which came against Coventry City in the final match of the season as the team earned a second consecutive promotion.

Fonte made his debut in the Premier League on 19 August 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–2 away loss to Manchester City. He netted his first goals in the competition in a 2–2 home draw with Fulham on 7 October, the second arriving in the last minute. On 24 August 2013, he scored a header in the 89th minute of the home game against Sunderland, rescuing a point for his team.

On 23 January 2014, Fonte was attacked by teammate Dani Osvaldo during a training session. Subsequently, the latter was loaned out to Juventus during the winter transfer window.

On 8 August 2014, Fonte penned a new three-year deal with Southampton running until June 2017, and was also named team captain. He made his 250th league appearance for the club on 16 October 2016, in a 3–1 home win against Burnley.

West Ham United

On 20 January 2017, Fonte signed for Premier League club West Ham United for a reported fee of £8 million (plus potential add-ons) on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He made his league debut on 1 February, in a 4–0 home defeat by Manchester City in which he conceded a penalty by bringing down Raheem Sterling.

On 4 November 2017, after a league match against one of his former teams, Crystal Palace, it was confirmed Fonte had suffered a foot injury that would sideline him for the rest of the year.

Dalian Yifang

Fonte completed a transfer to Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang on 23 February 2018, joining for a reported fee of £5 million. On 15 July, he terminated his contract.

Lille

Fonte signed for French Ligue 1 club Lille on 20 July 2018, signing a two-year contract. The 37-year-old captained the team to the 2020–21 Ligue 1 title, their first since 2010–11, making 36 appearances and scoring 3 goals in the process.

International career

1 José Fonte 2016 (cropped)
Fonte playing for Portugal at UEFA Euro 2016

Fonte was called up to the Portuguese B squad for the Vale do Tejo tournament in 2006. On 24 January, he played against Slovenia as the match ended with a penalty shoot-out loss after a 1–1 draw.

On 3 October 2014, aged nearly 31, Fonte received his first call-up to the senior team, for a friendly with France and a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifier against Denmark. He made his debut in another friendly, playing the second half of a 1–0 win over Argentina at Old Trafford on 18 November.

Fonte was selected by manager Fernando Santos for his Euro 2016 squad. His first game in the tournament took place on 25 June, as he started alongside Southampton teammate Cédric Soares in the round-of-16 tie against Croatia, which Portugal won 1–0 after extra time. He went on to retain his position until the final, in which Portugal beat the hosts France 1–0.

Fonte was named in the final 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Personal life

Fonte's younger brother, Rui, is also a footballer. A forward, the two were teammates at Sporting (at youth level), Crystal Palace and Lille. Their father, Artur, played 12 seasons in the Portuguese top division.

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Sporting CP B 2002–03 Segunda Divisão B 22 0 22 0
2003–04 Segunda Divisão B 37 0 37 0
Total 59 0 59 0
Felgueiras 2004–05 Segunda Liga 28 1 1 0 29 1
Vitória Setúbal 2005–06 Primeira Liga 15 0 0 0 2 0 17 0
Paços de Ferreira (loan) 2005–06 Primeira Liga 11 1 0 0 11 1
Estrela da Amadora (loan) 2006–07 Primeira Liga 25 1 2 0 27 1
Crystal Palace (loan) 2007–08 Championship 22 1 1 0 1 0 2 0 26 1
Crystal Palace 2008–09 Championship 38 4 2 0 1 0 41 4
2009–10 Championship 22 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 25 1
Total 60 5 3 0 3 0 0 0 66 5
Southampton 2009–10 League One 21 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 24 0
2010–11 League One 43 7 2 0 2 0 1 0 48 7
2011–12 Championship 42 1 1 0 1 0 44 1
2012–13 Premier League 27 2 1 0 0 0 28 2
2013–14 Premier League 36 3 1 0 1 0 38 3
2014–15 Premier League 37 0 3 0 4 0 44 0
2015–16 Premier League 37 2 1 0 1 0 4 0 43 2
2016–17 Premier League 17 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 19 0
Total 260 15 9 0 11 0 4 0 4 0 288 15
West Ham United 2016–17 Premier League 16 0 0 0 0 0 16 0
2017–18 Premier League 8 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
Total 24 0 0 0 0 0 24 0
Dalian Yifang 2018 Chinese Super League 7 0 2 0 9 0
Lille 2018–19 Ligue 1 36 3 2 0 0 0 38 3
2019–20 Ligue 1 25 1 2 1 2 0 5 0 34 2
2020–21 Ligue 1 36 3 1 0 6 0 43 3
Total 97 7 5 1 2 0 11 0 115 8
Career total 608 31 23 1 17 0 17 0 6 0 671 32

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Portugal 2014 1 0
2015 7 0
2016 12 0
2017 7 0
2018 9 0
2019 6 0
2020 1 0
2021 3 0
Total 46 0

Honours

Southampton

  • Football League Trophy: 2009–10

Lille

Portugal

Individual

  • PFA Team of the Year: 2010–11 League One
  • Southampton Player of the Season: 2010–11, 2014–15

Orders

  • Commander of the Order of Merit: 2016
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