Miami FC Signs Serie A Champion Matuzalem Francelino Da Silva

“The professor” is making his way to the NASL
Jan 20, 2016

Miami, FL (January 20, 2016) – Miami FC has proudly announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Matuzalem Francelino da Silva. The former Serie A player will join Miami FC for its debut season bringing his pristine technique and skill to the field. 

“Matuzalem has consistently delivered as midfielder and teammate,” said Alessandro Nesta, Miami FC head coach. “His career speaks for itself, and he has proven to be an exemplary player that will truly be an asset to this team.”

Matuzalem started out strong in the Brazilian youth league. Within the first year of his career he helped the national U-17 team win the FIFA World Cup in 1997 and established himself as a prime midfielder. In 1999, he made the move to the Italian league and transferred to Parma, but made his debut on loan with S.S.C Napoli, which was then a Serie B team. Matuzalem was able to help the team reach the first division Serie A league and racked up a total of 52 appearances.

The Brazilian midfielder bounced back and forth between Piacenza, Parma and Brescia for the next few years. In 2001, Matuzalem made his way to Piacenza while under shared ownership with Parma and turned heads when he became the first foreigner to score for the team in the Serie A. He made a total of 28 appearances and notched three goals for the team over the season. The following year, he returned to Parma, but was soon loaned out to Brescia where he became a regular starter. In 2003, Matuzalem made the official transfer to Brescia where he totaled 60 appearances and netted three goals for the team.

In 2004, Matuzalem stepped away from the Italian leagues and quickly rose to the top of the Ukranian Premier League as a midfielder with Shakhtar Donetsk. Two years later, he went on to become the captain for the 2006 – 2007 season and was voted the team’s Footballer of the Year in 2004 and shared the title with his teammate Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in 2005 and 2006. He went on to make 25 goals and 68 appearances with the Ukranian team.

After a brief bit with La Liga’s Real Zaragoza, Matuzalem returned to the Serie A sporting Lazio’s blue and white gear in 2008. During his first season with the team, he played a game-changing role that helped Lazio win its fifth Coppa Italia. The following year, he was a starting midfielder in the Supercoppa Italiana final and scored the opening goal which was crucial to Lazio’s championship win.

More recently, Matuzalem has remained within the Italian leagues and played with Genoa, Bologna and Hellas Verona over the past few years. This will be the internationally recognized midfielders first time with an American league and could not be more pleased to join the Miami FC family.

“I’m so thankful to work under the guidance of this phenomenal coaching staff and alongside this hard-working team,” said Matuzalem. “This is a welcome opportunity that l am very much looking forward to, and I’m excited to see what this new experience will bring.”

Player announcements will continue to be released as the Miami FC gears up for the 2016 NASL season.