Jose Bosingwa is an attacking left-sided defender who plays for Portugal and Chelsea in the English Premier League. Jose is comfortable going forwards, whilst he reads the game so well that he is constantly intercepting the opposition’s passes, winning the ball and then bursting forwards. His stinging shot has brought a few important goals for Chelsea, with long-range power-blasters his speciality. He is first-choice right-back for both Chelsea and Portugal, and was named in the Euro 2008 Team of the Tournament.
Jose Bosingwa was born on 24th August 1982 in Kinshasa, in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire). His father was Portuguese, and he returned to Portugal with his family when Jose was still a boy. He was scouted by Freeamunde whilst playing for a youth team side, and was signed up to their academy by the time he was 12 years old. His skills for the local team impressed Boavista enough to offer him a contract.
Bosingwa signed professional forms for Boavista in the summer of 2001, aged 19. He had been brought to the club as a defensive midfielder, and didn’t go straight into the first team because he lacked the brute strength needed to compete effectively. After a few months of training with the first-team he was handed a chance, and impressed in the left-back spot. Injuries limited his appearances as Boavista fought for the Portuguese League title the following season.
Bosingwa had a runners up medal, but soon added a winner’s medal to his collection – though he had switched teams to join Boavista’s title-rivals FC Porto, and Jose Mourinho. Bosingwa struggled to get in the first team initially, and was only given the spot full-time after Mourinho and Paulo Ferreira had departed for Chelsea after Porto’s Champions League triumph.
Jose became one of the key members of the team as FC Porto went on to win many more championships, with some spectacular goals along the way. He hit the headlines for the wrong reasons in 2005, when he was involved in a car-crash that left another footballer with some severe injuries.
In May 2008, Chelsea confirmed that they had signed Bosingwa for around £13.5million, in spite of the fact that Chelsea had not confirmed who their manager would be for the next season. Bosingwa must have known more than he was letting on to the Press – Felipe Scolari, his international manager and the man who had given him his first international call-up, took the job in July.
Bosingwa was fighting for a spot with Paulo Ferreira once more, but this time had the trust of the coach. He is a first-team regular and considered the best right-back at the club by the fans, who affectionately call him ‘the machine’.
Bosingwa could have played for DR Congo, having been called up on numerous occasions, but held out for a chance to play for Portugal. He only made his international debut in June 2007, when he was called up as a replacement for Miguel. He made the right-back spot his own, with Scolari and then Queiroz appreciating his work-rate and never-say-die attitude. A less-than-successful Euro 2008 campaign saw Portugal knocked-out in the Quarter-Finals, but not before Bosingwa had impressed enough to be named in the Team of the Tournament.