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Francisco José Rodrigues da Costa Júnior, OIH (born 1 December 1974 in Lisbonmarker), commonly known as Costinha ( ), is a Portuguesemarker footballer currently for Atalanta B.C. in the Italian first division, as a defensive midfielder.

Best known for his tackling and positioning, he is also a former Portuguese international.

Club career

After years of playing in the lower leagues, Costinha caught the interest of French side AS Monaco FC while playing with C.D. Nacional, then in the Portuguese second division. After a tentative first season, he became an important first team member, helping with 28 matches and one goal to the club's 1999–2000 league conquest.

Aged almost 27, Costinha made his Portuguese league debut when he signed with F.C. Porto in 2001-02. He would be an instrumental midfield element in the northerners' two consecutive national titles. Arguably, Costinha's finest club moment came on 9 March 2004 when he scored against and effectively knocked out Manchester United in 2003–04's Champions League first knockout round. Porto went on to win the title, beating former side Monaco 3–0 in the final.

An undisputed starter again in 2004–05, Costinha was sold to FC Dynamo Moscow in May 2005, alongside teammates Maniche and Giourkas Seitaridis, following Derlei (left in January). Unsettled, he left for Atlético Madrid, where he would play in 2006–07.

Costinha would be released by the Colchoneros in August 2007, joining Serie A outfit Atalanta BC, where he would appear very rarely throughout his spell (only one match, in his first season).

International career

Costinha made his debut for Portugal on 14 October 1998, during a 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).

Costinha also played at UEFA 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.

Club statistics



Honours

1997-98 Monaco French League 11 0
1998-99 21 2
1999-00 28 1
2000-01 24 0

2001-02 Porto Portuguese League 28 3
2002-03 23 5
2003-04 27 2
2004-05 30 3

2005 Dynamo Moscow Russian League 10 0

2006-07 Atlético Madrid Spanish League 24 0

2007-08 Atalanta Italian League 1 0
2008-09
94||3||||||||||||||||
108||13||||||||||||||||
10||0||||||||||||||||
24||0||||||||||||||||
1||0||||||||||||||||
237||16||||||||||||||||




References

  1. Costinha carrying the fight; UEFA.com, 23 March 2004
  2. Porto pair move to Moscow; UEFA.com, 14 May 2005
  3. Costinha aims high with Atlético; UEFA.com, 10 August 2006
  4. Costinha off to Atalanta; UEFA.com, 24 August 2007


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