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Ambitious Costa targets trophy haul and quick getaway

Ex-Porto man joins Cypriot leaders but eyes summer move

Paulo CostaPortuguese midfielder Paulo Costa says he hopes to win trophies this season with new club Anorthosis Famagusta, but has ambitions to leave the Cypriot league leaders at the end of the current campaign.

The former Porto man, who had a spell in France with Bordeaux, made the move within Cyprus this January from Aris Limassol to runaway leaders Anorthosis, who are currently ten points clear at the top of the Cypriot First Division.

“Things were going well on a personal level (with Aris), but I spoke with the directors because I had other ambitions,” Costa said of the switch. “There were offers from other countries, including Greece, but I signed a four-year contract with Anorthosis, which was the most expensive transfer in this country. I want to be a champion and win the Cypriot Cup, where we are already in the semi-finals.”

When asked about the quality of the football played in the Eurasian island country, Costa admitted that it was a level below some of Europe’s top leagues, before surprisingly announcing an intention to move on again come the end of the current season.

Competitive league

“You cannot compare Cyprus with Spain, Italy or Germany,” he said. “However, contrary to what people may think, the Cypriot league has a lot of quality and is competitive enough.

“I think that Anorthosis could compete in Portugal for a top four place. We have the financial conditions and are hoping to play in the group phase of the Champions League next season. However, it is probable that I will leave Anorthosis at the end of the current season.

“Why? I have aspirations to play in a more competitive championship, like the German or Italian. After I signed, Anorthosis refused offers from clubs interested in signing me. The length of my contract could make it more difficult for me to leave, but I will speak with the directors and I expect that everything will be easier if we win the championship and win the Cypriot Cup.”

“A return to Portugal? It would not be easy, due to the financial conditions of most of the clubs. In Portugal, it’s unlikely I’d accept playing in any club other than Benfica, FC Porto or Sporting.”

6 February 2008, by Sean Gillen

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