Grêmio midfielder Zé Roberto to stay at the club for one more year
Grêmio midfielder Zé Roberto has put pen to paper on a new one-year deal with the club and revealed that this will be his last contract before hanging up his boots.
Zé Roberto, 38, who joined the Porto Alegre club in May this year after a spell with Qatari club Al-Gharafa, has agreed a deal which will see through the whole of the 2013 season, plus an extra six months of 2014 if Grêmio qualify for the Copa Libertadores.
“First, I want to express my joy at being able to sign, in my view, my last contract,” the former Bayern Munich star told reporters.
“I have been thinking a lot about my future and I came to this conclusion. I'm signing a new contract, one year, with a clause that in 2014, automatically renews itself for six months if we qualify for the Libertadores.
“It is clear that Grêmio decided that the team and I hope to end my career after this contract.”
The midfielder also praised his relationship with the supporters, indicating that it was a key reason for staying on at the club.
“Was the identification with the club. In my full 20-year career I never lived what I'm living in such a short time.
“So far since I arrived, the way I was welcomed, it seems that I live here years at Grêmio, with fans and everyone at the club.”
And the new president Fabio Koff is delighted to see the number 10 stay for another year, citing him as an example to all.
He said: “We signed the contract renewal of Zé Roberto, who embodies the very spirit of the Grêmio we want, since he got here.
“Got the sympathy of the fans, the appreciation of the leaders, a dedicated attitude on the field and off, and imposed by a respectable private life.”