José Kléberson Pereira (born 19 June 1979), commonly known as José Kléberson or simply Kléberson, is a former Brazilian footballer, and current Assistant Coach with New York City Football Club (NYCFC) of Major League Soccer. He has appeared over 30 times with Brazil in international competition and was an integral member of the 2002 FIFA World Cup champions.
WORK & CAREER
José Kléberson has played for a number of iconic football clubs over the course of his career. He began his career with Atletico Paranaese, winning the Brazilian Serie A title in 2001. Following a meteoric rise to the top of the football world, he would go on to play for world-renowned clubs such as Manchester United, Besiktas, and Flamengo.
Over his professional career Kléberson has played under numerous world class managers including Alex Ferguson (Manchester United), Luis Felipe Scolari (Brazilian National Team) Carlos Alberto Parriera (Brazilian National Team), Dunga (Brazilian National Team) and Vanderlei Luxemburgo (Flamengo) among others. He has played with numerous world class players including Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Kaka, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Scholes, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Ryan Giggs, and Rio Ferdinand, and more.
In 2013 he joined MLS side the Philadelphia Union, where he was a head coach at the team’s internationally regarded youth academy before joining the club’s second team, Philadelphia Union II, as an assistant coach. In July of 2022, he departed the Philadelphia Union and joined New York City FC (NYCFC) as an assistant coach with the club’s MLS first team.
Internationally, Kléberson competed for Brazil, making 32 appearances for the national side between 2002 and 2010.
In total he appeared in 32 matches for the Brazilian National Team, representing Brazil in two FIFA World Cups (2002 & 2010), the FIFA Confederations Cup (2003 & 2009), and the CONMEBOL Copa America (2004).
His play was most prominently highlighted on the international stage as a member of the starting lineup for Brazil in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in which Brazil defeated Germany to claim the title of world champions.
Following retirement from playing in 2016, Kléberson was offered a role with the Philadelphia Union as a youth academy coach. A fan favorite during his stint with the Union, he served as the head coach for Academy’s U12, U13, and U14 side as well as an assistant for other age groups over his time, producing results in numerous national and international tournaments, including the Iber Cup and Generation Adidas Cup. In 2021 the Union’s academy was named the top youth soccer academy in the United States by Soccerwire out of over 26,000 programs. In March 2022, Kleberson was promoted to assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union II. In July of the same year, Kléberson was hired as an assistant coach by New York City FC (NYCFC) of Major League Soccer, where he is currently employed.
Kléberson is a US Soccer National A-Senior and Brazilian Football Confederation Senior Coaching License holder.
Kléberson was born in Urai, Brazil. He currently resides in New York with his wife Dayane and three children. He is trilingual, fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. In 2021 he was granted United States citizenship and currently holds both a U.S. and Brazilian passport.
In his free time he enjoys going to the beach, spending time with his family, and working with the local community.