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Player Profile: Jorge Costa  

Jorge CostaFull name: Jorge Paulo Costa Almeida
Position: Defender
Date of Birth: 8 March 1972
Birthplace: Porto, Portugal

Jorge Paulo Costa Almeida, better known simply as Jorge Costa, enjoyed one of the most illustrious careers of any Portuguese footballer over the last decade and a half.

The tough-tackling central defender took no prisoners on the pitch. His fearsome tackling and unstinting competitiveness were balanced by extremely accomplished defensive attributes and surprising speed.

His remarkable haul of winner’s medals, including Champions League and UEFA Cup triumphs and eight Portuguese national championships are testament to a glittering career.

Costa came through the youth system at FC Porto. After being loaned out to Penafiel and Maritimo, the tough-tackling central defender firmly established himself as the rock at the heart of the Porto defence.

After getting over lengthy spells on the sidelines due to injury early in his career, the player established himself as Porto captain and one of the foremost symbols of the club that dominated Portuguese football throughout his career. He accumulated a total of 306 matches and 20 goals in the Portuguese top flight.

In 2001 Costa fell out with Porto coach Octavio Machado and embarked on the first of his two brief adventures abroad, joining Premiership club Charlton.

Despite a string of fine performances for the London club, earning high praise from respected Charlton manager Alan Curbishley, Costa freely admitted he did not have the heart of an emigrant and gladly returned to Porto upon the appointment of Jose Mourinho in the summer of 2002.

Mourinho cornerstone

Surely Costa himself could never have dreamed of the two majestic seasons that were to follow as the big defender became a cornerstone of Mourinho’s all-conquering Porto team.

FC Porto were crowned UEFA Cup and Champions League winners in successive seasons, as well as practically cleaning up all trophies going on the domestic front, with Baia, Costa, Deco and Derlei constituting the backbone of that magnificent team.

International career

Jorge Costa also enjoyed a successful international career, donning the Portugal shirt 50 times between 1992 and 2002, scoring two goals. He took part in the 2000 European Champions, helping Portugal reach the semi-finals, and the 2002 World Cup.

Costa officially announced his retirement from the game shortly before his 34th birthday on 5 October 2005.

by Tom Kundert (15/01/2007)

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