He started is career in Mozambique, were he played in local teams, João Albasini, 1 º de Maio and Manjacaze. He was discovered by a former Belenenses player, signing for his team, in 1951. He played for Belenenses, the third best team of Lisbon, after Benfica and Sporting, from 1951/52 to 1963/64, being twice the top scorer of the I Division. He had 27 caps and scored 13 goals for Portugal, from 1952–60. His last game was at the Euro 1960 quarter-finals with Yugoslavia when he was 32. Portugal won 2–1 at home, but was defeated 5–1 abroad. He left Belenenses at a very difficult time of his career, and signed for Atlético of Lisbon, then a II Division team, in December 1964. He helped to return that team to I Division the following season. He left Atlético to Gouveia, in 1967/68, moving to Amora, in 1968/69 when he was 41. With Amora he was district champion and helped the team to reach the III Division. In 1970/71 he moved to Canada were he played until 1977/78, when he turned 50.
He remains the best player ever to represent both Belenenses and Portugal National Team. He never played there with his countryman Eusébio, who only debuted the year after Matateu’s last game.
Matateu had 1 daughter of his first marriage, Argentyna Fonseca (Nov. 28th, 1954), and 3 grandchildren, 2 boys and 1 girl (Claudya Fonseca).