José Fonte (Footballer) – Biography Points

José Fonte Portuguese professional footballer

Table of Contents

José Fonte (Footballer)

In the world of football, where superstars often dominate the headlines, there are those players whose contributions, though less glamorous, are vital to their team’s success. One such player is José Miguel da Rocha Fonte, commonly known as José Fonte. A stalwart in defense, José Fonte’s career trajectory is a testament to hard work, resilience, and unwavering dedication. José Miguel da Rocha Fonte ComM (born 22 December 1983) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a center-back for Primeira Liga club Braga and the Portugal national team.

José Fonte began his professional career with Sporting CP B and moved to England with Crystal Palace in 2007. He signed for Southampton in 2010, making 288 appearances in all competitions before joining West Ham United in January 2017. He later played for Dalian Yifang in China and Lille in France, where he won the Ligue 1 title in the 2020–21 season.

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

Penafiel, Portugal

José Miguel da Rocha Fonte
 22 December 1983
Date of Birth 22 December 1983
Birth PlacePenafiel, Portugal
Height1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Dates joinedAugust 2018 (LOSC Lille)
Position Centre-back
SpouseCassie Sumner Fonte
ParentsArtur Fonte, Diana Rocha

Early Life and Background

Born on December 22, 1983, in Penafiel, Portugal, José Fonte began his football journey in the youth ranks of Sporting CP. Despite not breaking into the first team, his early years laid the foundation for his professional career. His journey took him through various Portuguese clubs, including Felgueiras and Vitória Setúbal, where he honed his skills as a central defender.

Club Career

Born in Penafiel, José Fonte completed his football education at Sporting CP, appearing only for their B team in the third division. In 2004, he signed with Salgueiros, but the club’s financial difficulties led to its liquidation. José Fonte then transferred to Felgueiras in the Segunda Liga. In 2005, he made his Primeira Liga debut with Vitória de Setúbal. His performances caught the attention of Benfica, who signed him in January 2006 and loaned him to Paços de Ferreira, where he finished the season with 26 league appearances and 1 goal.

During the 2006–07 season, José Fonte was loaned to Estrela da Amadora in the top division, missing only five league games as the team finished ninth.

Crystal Palace

In July 2007, José Fonte was loaned to Crystal Palace in England, where he became a regular starter. The move was made permanent at the end of the 2007–08 season. José Fonte continued to be a key player for Palace, even playing as a makeshift striker when required.


José Fonte signed for Southampton on 9 January 2010 for around £1.2 million. He made his debut on 16 January in a 1–1 draw away to Millwall. He scored his first goal for Southampton on 28 August in a 4–0 away win over Bristol Rovers. Fonte helped Southampton win promotion to the Championship and was named in the League One Team of the Year for the 2010–11 season. He was also voted Southampton’s Player of the Year.

On 29 December 2011, José Fonte signed a new contract with Southampton until June 2015. He contributed to the team’s promotion to the Premier League, making his debut in the top flight on 19 August 2012 in a 3–2 loss to Manchester City. He scored his first Premier League goals in a 2–2 draw with Fulham on 7 October 2012.

José Fonte became team captain on 8 August 2014 and made his 250th league appearance for the club on 16 October 2016.

West Ham United

On 20 January 2017, José Fonte signed for West Ham United for a reported fee of £8 million on a two-and-a-half-year contract. He made his debut on 1 February in a 4–0 home defeat to Manchester City. A foot injury on 4 November 2017 sidelined him for the rest of the year.

Dalian Yifang

José Fonte transferred to Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang on 23 February 2018 for a reported £5 million fee. He terminated his contract on 15 July 2018.


José Fonte joined Lille on 20 July 2018 on a two-year contract. He made his debut on 18 August in a goalless draw against Monaco and scored his first goal on 22 September in a 2–1 win over Nantes. Fonte played a crucial role in Lille’s 2020–21 Ligue 1 title win, making 36 appearances and scoring three goals.

He extended his contract to 2021 and played in the Trophée des Champions on 1 August 2021, a 1–0 win over PSG. Fonte renewed his contract for the 2022–23 season and was released afterward. On 19 July 2023, José Fonte signed a one-year contract with S.C. Braga.

International Career

José Fonte was called up to the Portuguese B squad for the Vale do Tejo tournament in 2006, playing against Slovenia in a match that ended in a penalty shoot-out loss after a 1–1 draw.

Senior National Team

On 3 October 2014, nearly 31 years old, José 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.

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

José Fonte was named in the final 23-man squads for both the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and Portugal’s victorious campaign in the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals. He was also part of the squad for the delayed UEFA Euro 2020, where he did not play.

On 9 October 2021, at age 37, José Fonte scored his first goal for the national team in a 3–0 home win over Qatar. On 24 March 2022, aged 38, he earned his 50th cap in Portugal’s World Cup qualifying play-off match against Turkey, where he conceded a penalty. However, Burak Yılmaz missed the shot, and Portugal won 3–1 to advance to the final playoff game.

In October 2022, José Fonte was named in Portugal’s preliminary 55-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar but did not make the final cut.

Career Statistics

Youth career
1991–1994PenafielYouth career
1994–2002Sporting CPYouth career
1997–2000→ Sacavenense (loan)Youth career
International Career
2006Portugal U211(0)
2006Portugal B1(0)
Medal Record
UEFA European ChampionshipWinner2016
UEFA Nations LeagueWinner2019
FIFA Confederations CupThird place2017
Team Information
Current teamBraga
Senior Career
2002–2004Sporting CP B59(0)
2005–2006Vitória de Setúbal15(0)
2006→ Paços Ferreira (loan)11(1)
2006–2007→ Estrela Amadora (loan)25(1)
2007–2008→ Crystal Palace (loan)22(1)
2008–2010Crystal Palace60(5)
2017–2018West Ham United24(0)
2018Dalian Yifang7(0)

International Success with Portugal

Despite his club success, international recognition came relatively late for José Fonte. He made his debut for the Portuguese national team in 2014 at the age of 30. However, he quickly became an integral part of the squad, known for his dependable defensive displays.

José Fonte most significant achievement with the national team came in 2016 when Portugal won the UEFA European Championship. His performances in the tournament, particularly in the knockout stages, were crucial to Portugal’s triumph. He played every minute of the final against France, showcasing his defensive solidity and composure.

Career Statistics

Goals By Club

ClubSeasonLeagueAppsGoalsNational CupGoalsLeague CupGoalsContinentalGoalsOtherGoalsTotalGoals
Sporting CP B2002–03Segunda Divisão B220220
Sporting CP B2003–04Segunda Divisão B370370
Total  590590
Felgueiras2004–05Segunda Liga28110291
Vitória de Setúbal2005–06Primeira Liga1500020170
Benfica2005–06Primeira Liga00000000
Benfica2006–07Primeira Liga00000000
Benfica2007–08Primeira Liga00000000
Total  00000000
Paços de Ferreira (loan)2005–06Primeira Liga11100111
Estrela da Amadora (loan)2006–07Primeira Liga25120271
Crystal Palace (loan)2007–08Championship221101020261
Crystal Palace2008–09Championship3842010414
Crystal Palace2009–10Championship221102000251
Total  826404020926
Southampton2009–10League One210000030240
Southampton2010–11League One437202010487
Southampton2012–13Premier League2721000282
Southampton2013–14Premier League3631010383
Southampton2014–15Premier League3703040440
Southampton2015–16Premier League372101040432
Southampton2016–17Premier League170002000190
Total  2601590110404028815
West Ham United2016–17Premier League1600000160
West Ham United2017–18Premier League80000080
Total  2400000240
Dalian Yifang2018Chinese Super League702090
Lille2018–19Ligue 13632000383
Lille2019–20Ligue 1251212050342
Total  614412050725
Shanghai SIPG2020Chinese Super League1001040150
Moreirense2021–22Primeira Liga80001090

International Records

National teamYearAppsGoals
Total 501

International Goals

19 October 2021Estádio Algarve, Faro/Loulé, PortugalQatar2–03–0Friendly



  • Football League Trophy: 2009–10


  • Ligue 1: 2020–21
  • Trophée des Champions: 2021


  • Taça da Liga: 2023–24


  • UEFA European Championship: 2016
  • UEFA Nations League: 2018–19
  • FIFA Confederations Cup third place: 2017


  • PFA Team of the Year: 2010–11 League One
  • Southampton Player of the Season: 2010–11, 2014–15
  • Lille Player of the Season: 2020–21


  • Commander of the Order of Merit

Personal Life

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


Internal Links

Andrej Mangold (Basketball Player ) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update: 7/20/2024 × Dismiss this alert. Andrej Mangold (Basketball Player ) Andrej Mangold is a distinguished name in German basketball, celebrated for his exceptional athleticism and dynamic playing style. Born on January 14, 1987, in Hannover, Germany, Mangold’s ascent from a talented youth to a revered professional athlete has been marked by […]
Nancy Hollander (Activist and Advocate) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update: 7/20/2024 × Dismiss this alert. Nancy Hollander (Activist and Advocate) Nancy Hollander, born in 1944, is a distinguished American criminal defense lawyer known for her dedicated representation of high-profile clients, including Guantanamo Bay detainees and Chelsea Manning. Her impactful career has garnered significant attention, with actress Jodie Foster portraying her in […]
Karsten Heuer (Biologist) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update: 7/20/2024 × Dismiss this alert. Desktop View In Mobile Show Complete Information × Dismiss this alert. Karsten Heuer (Biologist) Karsten Heuer is a renowned Canadian wildlife biologist, conservationist, and author, celebrated for his dedication to the study and protection of wildlife. His deep connection with nature began in his early years, […]
Lawson Humphries (Rules Footballer) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update : 7/20/2024 × Dismiss this alert. Mobile Views Please Open Desktop View On Mobile Show All Information . × Dismiss this alert. Lawson Humphries (Rules Footballer) Lawson Humphries, born on April 24, 2003, is a professional Australian rules footballer known for his dynamic playing style and versatility on the field. He […]
Debra Wong Yang (Activist and Advocate) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update: 7/20/2024 × Dismiss this alert. Debra Wong Yang (Activist and Advocate) Debra Wong Yang (Chinese: 楊黃金玉; pinyin: Yáng Huáng Jīnyù) is a prominent figure in the legal field, celebrated for her groundbreaking achievements and leadership. She made history as the first Asian American woman appointed as a United States Attorney, a […]
Alisha Lehmann (Footballer) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update : 7/18/2024 Add New Article … × Dismiss this alert. Mobile Views Please Open Desktop View On Mobile Show All Information . × Dismiss this alert. Alisha Lehmann (Footballer) Alisha Debora Lehmann, born on January 21, 1999, is a prominent figure in the world of professional football, hailing from Switzerland. Known […]
Joseph Quinn (Actor)  – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update : 7/18/2024 Add New Article …. × Dismiss this alert. Mobile Views Please Open Desktop View On Mobile Show All Information . × Dismiss this alert. Joseph Quinn (Actor) Joseph Quinn, born on January 26, 1994, is a distinguished English actor whose talent and versatility have made him a prominent figure […]
Shakur Stevenson (Professional Boxer) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update : 7/17/2024 Add New Article …. × Dismiss this alert. Mobile Views Please Open Desktop View On Mobile Show All Information . × Dismiss this alert. Shakur Stevenson (Professional Boxer) Ash-Shakur Nafi-Shahid Stevenson, born on June 28, 1997, in Newark, New Jersey, has risen to prominence in the boxing world as […]
Ben Shelton (Tennis Player) – Biography Points
Table of Contents Update : 7/17/2024 Add New Article …. × Dismiss this alert. Mobile Views Please Open Desktop View On Mobile Show All Information . × Dismiss this alert. Ben Shelton (Tennis Player) Benjamin Todd Shelton, born on October 9, 2002, is an American professional tennis player. He reached a career-high singles ranking of […]