Costinha in 2012
|Full name||Francisco José Rodrigues da Costa|
|Date of birth||1 December 1974|
|Place of birth||Lisbon, Portugal|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft in)|
|Playing position(s)||Defensive midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Francisco José Rodrigues da Costa, OIH (born 1 December 1974), known as Costinha (Portuguese pronunciation: [k'ti]), is a Portuguese former footballer who played as a defensive midfielder, and a current manager.
Best known for his tackling and positioning, as well as his athleticism, stamina and workrate, he played professionally in five countries, reaching the first division of his own at nearly 27. He helped Porto win the 2004 Champions League, conquering a total of eight trophies with that club.
Costinha was born in Lisbon to an Angolan father, who had emigrated to the Portuguese capital in the 1960s. In the summer of 1997, 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.
Aged almost 27, Costinha made his Primeira Liga debut when he signed with FC 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; 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 EUR4 million, 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's Atalanta BC, 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 (EUR700,000 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.
Costinha made his debut for Portugal on 14 October 1998, during a 1-0 home win against Slovakia for the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifiers, going on to appear in the tournament's final stage where he scored an injury time header against Romania (same score).
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 1-0 round-of-16 victory over the Netherlands after two bookable offences, the second being a handball.
On 23 February 2010, 35-year-old Costinha left Atalanta by mutual consent. He immediately retired, being named shortly afterwards as Sporting CP'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.
In June 2011, in the same capacity, Costinha joined Servette FC, with the Swiss team being managed by countryman João Alves. 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. The team's results worsened under Peireira and in April 2012, both Pereira and Costinha were fired, with Alves being reinstated as manager; Costinha reportedly contested the terms of his removal, claiming that his contract extended until June 2013.
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; but Costinha was sacked after only four months, however, due to poor results.
Costinha left a year later by mutual consent, due to the Madeira team's relegation as second from the bottom. Negative highlights included a 10-0 loss against eventual champions S.L. Benfica, on 10 February 2019.
|Dynamo Moscow||2005||Russian Premier League||10||0|
|Atlético Madrid||2006-07||La Liga||24||0|
|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|