Soccer star Jose Dos Santos opens futsal school in Mandurah

Mirah, Jose, Neemias and Zahara enjoying time on the beach together. Photo: Supplied.
Mirah, Jose, Neemias and Zahara enjoying time on the beach together. Photo: Supplied.

It's a tale as old as time - professional Brazilian soccer player meets successful Australian real estate agent in Bali.

They fall in love, move to Mandurah and start a futsal school.

Okay, maybe not the most typical tale, but this is the story of lovebirds Jose and Jo Dos Santos, who are embarking on their journey to open a futsal school for children in Mandurah.

When he takes the call from the Mail, Jose is packing to accompany his daughters on their girl scouts camp.

The beginning 

"I started playing professional football in Brazil when I was 17," he said.

"I played for three years in Romania, then went to France, was sold to Portugal, and finally went on to play in Asia, which is where I met my beautiful wife."

Jose laughs when he shares about when he first told his wife what he did for a living.

"When we met, I was well-known in Europe - my wife asked me 'what do you do for a living?' and I said, 'oh, I play football,' and she responded 'no - like what do you do for a job?'"

Jose Dos Santos has had a successful soccer career across the world. Photo: Supplied.

Jose Dos Santos has had a successful soccer career across the world. Photo: Supplied.

Jo asked Jose if he would like to accompany her home to Australia to visit her family, and he replied that he had never been before and would love to go.

"My wife's dad lived in a beautiful house in Mandurah right on the canals.

"We would wake up every morning and watch the dolphins and I just thought 'this is paradise'."

In the month that Jose visited Mandurah, he said he fell in love with the city, and decided that one day they would live there together.

Two hearts, one goal

Jose and Jo eventually married and went on to have three children together.

"We have Zahara, who is nine, Neemias who is six and Mirah who is three. Mirah is the boss, she runs the show," he laughed.

"Neemias plays soccer and he is showing signs of being extremely good - probably even better than daddy."

The family now live together in a home in Mandurah, and Jose has a job working at the Peel Health Campus.

Jose has also previously coached in Mandurah and surrounds, and said he was looking forward to immersing himself back into local coaching.

"I am now a citizen and feel like an Aussie," he said.

"My wife and I just love Mandurah, which is why we are so excited to start Campeao Soccer and Futsal back in July."

We would wake up every morning and watch the dolphins and I just thought 'this is paradise'

Jose Dos Santos

A new endeavour 

When COVID hit last year, Jose was working as a coach in Jakarta.

"I came back to visit my family for four days and that was it - I couldn't fly back."

Jose said he was grateful he was able to be back with his family during the time of uncertainty, and the situation created an opportunity for a new venture.

"I love Mandurah and I love kids - my idea with opening this program is to help kids develop their skills.

In Brazil, we don't coach kids to win, we teach them to love the sport and love the game

Jose Dos Santos

"In Brazil, we don't coach kids to win, we teach them to love the sport and love the game."

Jose said he has always had a special place in his heart for coaching children, and he was honoured to have the ability to bring the sport he loves to local kids.

"I always said, one day when I stop playing football I want to coach.

"I have experience coaching kids with all different abilities - I have had parents come up to me and say 'my child is so shy, and he came back from class happy and laughing'.

"That is the good feedback for me, as a man, as a person and as a coach."

"I don't care about how many kids show up - the kids who do, I will give them my best and help them develop their skills." Photo: Supplied.

"I don't care about how many kids show up - the kids who do, I will give them my best and help them develop their skills." Photo: Supplied.

Jose and his wife have been working tirelessly preparing and advertising the program.

DREAM TEAM: Zahara, Jo, Jose, Mirah and Neemias Dos Santos.

DREAM TEAM: Zahara, Jo, Jose, Mirah and Neemias Dos Santos.

"My wife is so smart - she has worked her whole life as a real estate agent and knows much more about marketing than me," he laughed.

"I just said 'honey, can you help me?' We make a good team."

The 10-week term starts at the Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre on July 20, and class ages will be 6-9 and 9-13.

"I don't care about how many kids show up - the kids who do, I will give them my best and help them develop their skills."

For more information, go to the MARC website.