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Costinha in 2012
Personal information
Full name Francisco José Rodrigues da Costa
Date of birth (1974-12-01) 1 December 1974 (age 44)
Place of birth Lisbon, Portugal
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
1990–1994 Oriental
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Oriental 26 (3)
1995–1996 Machico 30 (5)
1996–1997 Nacional 27 (4)
1997–2001 Monaco 84 (3)
2001–2005 Porto 108 (13)
2005–2006 Dynamo Moscow 10 (0)
2006–2007 Atlético Madrid 24 (0)
2007–2010 Atalanta 1 (0)
Total 310 (28)
National team
1998–2006 Portugal 53 (2)
Teams managed
2013 Beira-Mar
2013 Paços Ferreira

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Francisco José Rodrigues da Costa, OIH, (born 1 December 1974), known as Costinha (Portuguese pronunciation: [kɔʃˈtiɲɐ]), is a Portuguese retired footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. After his playing career ended, he became a coach.

Best known for his tackling and positioning,[1] he played professionally in five different countries – reaching the first division of his own at nearly 27 – and was a Portuguese international. He helped Porto win the 2004 Champions League, conquering a total of eight trophies with that club.

Costinha gained more than 50 caps with Portugal, appearing with the national team in one World Cup and two European Championships, being part of the squad that reached the final in Euro 2004.

Club career


Costinha was born in Lisbon to an Angolan father, who had emigrated to the Portuguese capital in the 1960s.[2] In the 1997 summer, after years of playing in the lower leagues, he caught the interest of French club AS Monaco FC while playing with C.D. Nacional in the second division. After a tentative first season he became an important first-team member, helping with 28 matches and one goal to the 1999–2000 conquest of the Ligue 1 championship; he was part of a talented side which ousted Manchester United from the UEFA Champions League in 1998, on the away goals rule.[3]

Aged almost 27, Costinha made his Portuguese top flight debut when he signed with F.C. Porto in 2001, going on to be an instrumental midfield element in the northerners' two consecutive national championships. On 9 March 2004, he scored against and effectively knocked out Manchester United in the Champions League first knockout round;[1] Porto went on to win the title, beating his former side Monaco 3–0 in the final.

Again a starter throughout most of the 2004–05 campaign, Costinha was sold to FC Dynamo Moscow in May 2005 for 4 million, alongside teammates Maniche and Giourkas Seitaridis, following Derlei (left in January).[4] Unsettled, he left for Atlético Madrid, where he would play in 2006–07.[5]

Costinha would be released by the Colchoneros in August 2007, joining Serie A's Atalanta BC,[6] where he would appear very rarely throughout his spell (only one match, in his first season) due to serious injuries and, later, technical choices from his club, who considered the player unfit to play competitively, despite him having the highest salary in the first team (€700,000 per year, in a contract due to expire in June 2010). The club tried to agree a mutual termination of the contract with the player, and also attempted unsuccessfully to obtain rescision of his contract through the Italian Football League.[7]


On 23 February 2010, 35-year-old Costinha left Atalanta by mutual consent.[8] He immediately retired, being named shortly afterwards as Sporting Clube de Portugal's director of football, succeeding the sacked Ricardo Sá Pinto, his former international teammate. On 9 February 2011, the day after an interview to Sport TV in which he criticised the club's board of directors, he was dismissed.[9]

In June 2011, in the same capacity, Costinha joined Servette FC, with the Swiss team being managed by countryman João Alves.[10] It was reported that the pair did not see eye to eye on certain issues, and in November 2011, Alves was fired and replaced by João Carlos Pereira.[11] The team's results worsened under Peireira and in April 2012, both Pereira and Costinha were fired, with Alves being reinstated as manager;[12] Costinha reportedly contested the terms of his removal, claiming that his contract extended until June 2013.[13]


Costinha was hired as manager of S.C. Beira-Mar on 18 February 2013, replacing Ulisses Morais.[14] He left the club on 22 May after its top-flight relegation.[15]

On 12 June 2013 Costinha was appointed at fellow league team F.C. Paços de Ferreira, who had made the qualifying rounds of the Champions League for the first time in its history. His midfield partner for Portugal and three clubs, Maniche, was hired as assistant;[16] but Costinha was sacked after only four months, however, due to poor results.[17]

International career

Costinha made his debut for Portugal on 14 October 1998, during a UEFA Euro 2000 qualifier 1–0 home win against Slovakia, going on to appear in the tournament's final stage where he scored an injury time header against Romania (1–0).

He also played at Euro 2004 and the 2006 FIFA World Cup. During the latter, on 25 June, he took part in the Battle of Nuremberg, being one of four players sent off in the round-of-16 success against the Netherlands (1–0), after two bookable offenses, the second being a handball.

Costinha finished his international career with 53 caps and two goals, having been rarely called during the Euro 2008 qualifying stage.

Costinha: International goals
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 17 June 2000 GelreDome, Arnhem, Netherlands  Romania 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2000
2 7 September 2002 Villa Park, Birmingham, England  England 1–1 1–1 Friendly






Club statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
France League Coupe de France Coupe de la Ligue Europe Total
1997–98 Monaco Ligue 1 11 0
1998–99 21 2
1999–00 28 1
2000–01 24 0
Portugal League Taça de Portugal Taça da Liga Europe Total
2001–02 Porto Primeira Liga 28 3
2002–03 23 5
2003–04 27 2
2004–05 30 3
Russia League Russian Cup League Cup Europe Total
2005 Dynamo Moscow Russian Premier League 10 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
2006–07 Atlético Madrid La Liga 24 0
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Atalanta Serie A 1 0 0 0 - - - - 1 0
2008–09 0 0 0 0 - - - - 0 0
2009–10 0 0 0 0 - - - - 0 0
Total France 94 3
Portugal 108 13
Russia 10 0
Spain 24 0
Italy 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Career total 237 16


  1. 1.0 1.1 Costinha carrying the fight;, 23 March 2004
  2. Assor, Miriam (9 July 2006). "O pai do nosso Costinha" (in Portuguese). Correio da Manhã. Retrieved 31 December 2012. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Monaco and bust for sorry United". The Independent. 19 March 1998. Retrieved 30 December 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Porto pair move to Moscow;, 12 May 2005
  5. Costinha aims high with Atlético;, 10 August 2006
  6. Costinha off to Atalanta;, 24 August 2007
  7. "Offresi Costinha disperatamente Atalanta stufa dell' amico di Mou" (in Italian). Gazzetta dello Sport. 10 January 2009. Retrieved 6 January 2010. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Atalanta e Costinha – Rescissione consensuale (Atalanta and Costinha – Mutual rescision); Atalanta's official website, 23 February 2010 (Italian)
  9. "Sporting sack Costinha". PortuGOAL. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Costinha nommé Directeur Sportif du Servette FC" (in French). Servette FC. 14 June 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2011. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Costinha, bourreau d'Alves" (in French). Le Matin. 30 December 2011. Retrieved 31 May 2012. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Costinha encore viré, João Alves de retour!" (in French). Ma Chaine Sport. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Servette FC vers la victoire" (in French). GHI. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2012. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Costinha é o novo treinador do Beira-Mar" (in Portuguese). Jornal de Notícias. 18 February 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. ""Não vou continuar no Beira-Mar" – Costinha" (in Portuguese). A Bola. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Costinha succeeds Fonseca at Paços de Ferreira". 12 June 2013. Retrieved 23 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Football: Pacos de Ferreira sack coach Costinha". Global Post. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Selecção distinguida pelo Duque de Bragança" (in Portuguese). Cristiano Ronaldo News. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006. Unknown parameter |trans_title= ignored (help) <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links