Happy Birthday Jose!
PAOK FC would like to wish Jose Mauricio, who turns 31 today, a very happy birthday with health, happiness and lots of successes to come on both a personal and professional level.
Jose, who is known as simply Mauricio was born in Sao Jose dos Campo, a city in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on October 21, 1988. He learned his trade early on at Corinthians, but in 2006 at the age of 18, he signed for Fluminense.
In his first professional season, he made 20 appearances and contributed two assists, giving an indication of his promising potential. The following season he played 33 times and scored the first goal of his senior, professional career. Everything was looking rosy. Suddenly the situation changed. His playing time was cut down and the word evolution was replaced by stagnation. It was something the player himself hated, and he decided to take a big step in the early days of 2009.
He left his homeland and moved to Russia. Spartak Moscow and Terek Grozny had both made advances, and Mauricio chose the unconventional path. He rejected the move to cosmopolitan Moscow and decided to settle in the capital of Chechnya. He dared to take a risk and in the end was vindicated.
He adapted to his new surroundings immediately and became a key player. He stayed at Grozny for five seasons, making 197 appearances and scoring 33 goals, feats which made him a fans favorite and the darling of team president Ramzan Kadyrov. In fact, while initially signing a three-year contract, he extended it for another two years.
In January 2016 it was time for a new challenge in his career. He wanted something bigger than Terek. Something like Zenit, a club who offered him the challenge he was looking for.
He originally signed a contract for six months, but after it was completed, he penned a three-year deal under coach Mircea Lucescu.
In the 2016-17 season he made 27 appearances, scored two goals and serving up one assist. In June 2017, he ended his contract with Zenit by mutual consent, and after weighing up a selection of offers from various teams, he chose PAOK as the next stop in his career.
In his first season at the club he made 27 appearances and added four goals and one assist to his name, becoming one of the most influential players of Razvan Lucescu’s team.
In the 2018-19 season he contributed heavily to PAOK’s league and cup double triumph, with five goals and three assists in 32 games. He has been unlucky with a serious knee injury, but the Brazilian is now back and fighting for a place in the starting lineup, looking to contribute once more with more minutes under his belt.