Kléberson playing for Flamengo in 2010
|Full name||José Kléberson Pereira|
|Date of birth||19 June 1979|
|Place of birth||Uraí, Brazil|
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Philadelphia Union Academy (manager)|
|2011||-> Atlético Paranaense (loan)||18||(2)|
|2013||-> Philadelphia Union (loan)||11||(1)|
|2016||Fort Lauderdale Strikers||5||(0)|
|2017-||Philadelphia Union Academy|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
José Kléberson Pereira (born 19 June 1979), commonly known as José Kléberson or simply Kléberson, is a Brazilian former footballer who last played as a midfielder for the American club Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League and current coach at the Philadelphia Union Academy. He played for Brazil 32 times and was part of the squad that won the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Kléberson was born and raised in the provincial town of Uraí in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. He began his football career with Atlético Paranaense. There, Kléberson won the Paraná State League in 2000 and 2001, and the Brazilian Série A title in 2001. His performances for Atlético Paranaense led to Luiz Felipe Scolari calling him up to the Brazil national team for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan.
His World Cup performances led to Scolari declaring Kléberson the driving force behind Brazil's cup-winning side, and drew interest from several European teams; Barcelona, Newcastle United, Leeds United and Celtic all expressed an interest. Leeds, failed to secure the signing after Kléberson decided against leaving Brazil without his girlfriend, who he was unable to marry until her 16th birthday, and eventually it was Manchester United who signed Kléberson, paying a fee of £6.5 million on 12 August 2003. Seen as a replacement for Juan Sebastián Verón, Kléberson was injured in his second appearance for the club and made only 20 appearances in two seasons. He scored two league goals in his time at Manchester United, both coming in home wins against Blackburn Rovers and Everton.
On 6 August 2005, Kléberson signed for Turkish club Be?ikta? for EUR2.95 million. He signed a three-year deal, with the option of a further 12 months, and told reporters at a signing ceremony, "I have come from one big club to another so I am very happy".
Kléberson unilaterally terminated the contract after claiming the club failed to pay his wages on time.
Kléberson signed with Flamengo on 27 September 2007 as a free agent, but he was unable to play for the club until February 2008, due to problems related to his resignation from Be?ikta?. On 10 August 2007 (announced on 27 August), the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber passed a decision that Kléberson had to pay Be?ikta? EUR3.18 million as for the compensation of breach of contract. and Besiktas had to pay US$461,112 as outstanding wage. Furthermore, Kléberson was suspended for four months (retroactively from 27 September 2007) Kléberson and the club later agreed to reduce the compensation from EUR3.18 million to EUR1 million.
Kléberson's first matches for his new club were on the reserves team in several matches of the Rio State League. His climb to the first team started slowly as he began to play consistently in the Copa Libertadores. Kléberson earned an important spot in the midfield after the transfers of Renato Augusto and Marcinho.
After returning to the first team, Kléberson's good spell in 2009 was interrupted on 12 August, in a friendly match against Estonia, where he suffered a foul and fell, causing him a dislocated shoulder. Kléberson had surgery and was expected to miss the rest of the year. He managed to recover quickly being able to return on 22 November in a 0-0 draw against Goiás and also playing in the 2-1 win over Grêmio and winning the 2009 Brazilian Série A, the second in his career.
After a poor year playing on loan for Atlético Paranaense, when the club was relegated to Série B, Kléberson signed for Bahia on a two-year contract in July 2012. He scored his first goal for Bahia on his debut, against his former club Flamengo.
Kléberson was acquired on loan by the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) on 25 March 2013. He scored the game-winning goal in the 95th minute from a free kick against Toronto FC on 10 October 2013.
On 25 March 2014, Kléberson reportedly signed a two-year deal with Indy Eleven of the North American Soccer League (NASL). Kléberson was released by Indy Eleven in December 2015 after two seasons at the club.
Kléberson made his first international appearance for Brazil in a friendly match against Bolivia on 31 January 2002. He also marked his debut by scoring Brazil's fourth goal in a 6-0 win. He also scored against Iceland in March 2002. He was subsequently selected by Luiz Felipe Scolari for Brazil's squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. He was initially relegated to the bench for the first four matches in the tournament. He was brought into the starting line-up for Brazil's game against England, with Scolari feeling his tenacity would help counter the high work-rate of the English side. His tackle on his future teammate Paul Scholes led to Brazil's equaliser before Brazil ended up winning 2-1. He then was included in the starting lineup for the rest of the tournament. Brazil defeated Germany in the final, with Kléberson setting up one of the two Brazilian goals, as Brazil won the World Cup for a record fifth time.
After the World Cup, Kléberson retained his starting position in Brazil's team under the new coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and was also included in Brazil's squad for 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, where Brazil were eliminated in the group stage. That summer, Kléberson moved to Europe to join Manchester United. He failed to achieve regular playing time with his club, and as a result he lost his position in the national team. He managed to be included in Brazil's squad for the 2004 Copa América. He made five appearances in the tournament, starting in every match he played as Brazil went on to win the tournament.
After more than four years in the international wilderness, Kléberson was recalled to the national team by Dunga on 28 May 2009. He was recalled to replace Anderson in two matches for 2010 World Cup qualification and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa. After recovering from his shoulder surgery, once again Kléberson was called up for the national team on 9 February 2010 for a friendly match against the Republic of Ireland on 2 March in London.
Kléberson was then called up to Brazil's 2010 World Cup squad by Dunga on 11 May. The 23-man squad was almost exactly the same as the squad against Ireland but included one additional player, Heurelho Gomes. His only appearance in the 2010 World Cup was in the round of 16 game against Chile.
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Atlético Paranaense||1999||Série A||14||1||3||2||0||0||0||0||--||17||3|
|Manchester United||2003-04||Premier League||12||2||1||0||1||0||2||0||0||0||16||2|
|Atlético Paranaense||2011||Série A||18||2||4||0||0||0||0||0||--||22||2|
|Philadelphia Union||2013||Major League Soccer||11||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||--||11||1|
|Indy Eleven||2014||North American Soccer League||20||8||0||0||0||0||0||0||--||20||8|
|Fort Lauderdale Strikers||2016||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||--||5||0|