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Wednesday, 02 September 2009 23:03

Manuel da Costa looking forward to English adventure

Defender speaks on move

New West Ham United signing Manuel da Costa says he is excited at the prospect of playing in England, after completing a deadline-day switch to Upton Park.

The 23-year-old Portugal under-21 international left Italian side Fiorentina for West Ham on Monday, signing a three-year contract with the London club, where he will join up with compatriot Luis Boa Morte. Having played against English opposition while at PSV, da Costa is looking forward to sampling the Premiership experience first hand.

"I remember when playing against Liverpool, firstly, that they were a very good team, but the thing that stuck out was that the atmosphere was great,” he said. “I liked the English passion for football - the crowd and the supporters are very, very important and I like that. I relish the pressure created by the passion from the supporters when they want us to do well. I thrive on that and like to have that kind of atmosphere.

"I spoke with (sporting director) Gianluca Nani and (manager) Gianfranco Zola and they both told me they wanted me to come over and to give me a chance to have a fresh start. They told me they had confidence in my ability, which made me feel good, so I was very happy to join West Ham.

"I also had the chance to meet with Julien Faubert when we were both in France recovering from injury and we spoke a lot about West Ham and playing in England. Julien is a good guy and we got to know each other quite well. I am looking forward to living and playing in London myself now.”

Having long established himself as a potential Portuguese international with his performances for his country at youth level, da Costa’s progress in England is likely to be followed closely by Carlos Queiroz. However, the player insists his main focus is on having a successful campaign with The Hammers.

"For me the most important thing is not the national team, although it obviously remains the ambition of every player to represent their country at the World Cup. I have not played a lot recently, so the first thing I want to do is to establish myself within the squad and within the team.

"I want to convince Gianfranco and his coaching staff that I am a player that they can rely on, then I hope that everything else will take care of itself."

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