Ricardo Costa (Portuguese footballer)

This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Moreira and the second or paternal family name is da Costa.
Ricardo Costa

Costa playing for Portugal in 2013
Personal information
Full name Ricardo Miguel Moreira da Costa
Date of birth (1981-05-16) 16 May 1981
Place of birth Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Number 20
Youth career
1989–1992 Valadares Gaia
1992–2000 Boavista
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2003 Porto B 66 (12)
2002–2007 Porto 75 (3)
2007–2010 VfL Wolfsburg 42 (6)
2010Lille (loan) 10 (0)
2010–2014 Valencia 87 (7)
2014–2015 Al-Sailiya 15 (1)
2015–2016 PAOK 26 (0)
2016 Granada 14 (1)
2016– Luzern 16 (1)
National team
1999 Portugal U18 7 (0)
2001–2002 Portugal U20 13 (2)
2001–2004 Portugal U21 23 (0)
2005–2014 Portugal 22 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 4 December 2016.

Ricardo Miguel Moreira da Costa (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁiˈkaɾðu ˈkɔʃtɐ]; born 16 May 1981) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays for Swiss club FC Luzern mainly as a central defender but occasionally as a full back.

After making his senior debut with Porto (where he was only a reserve) he went on to play in Germany, France and Spain, mainly spending several seasons with Valencia in the latter country.

A Portuguese international since 2005, Costa represented the nation in three World Cups and Euro 2012.

Club career


Costa, a product of Boavista FC's youth system, was born in Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, and moved to neighbours FC Porto when he was still an apprentice. He made his Primeira Liga debut in a 20 January 2002 derby match precisely against Boavista (0–2 away loss, 90 minutes played), but never became more than a fringe player, being preferred in the stopper's pecking order in consecutive seasons to namesake Jorge, Pedro Emanuel, Pepe and Bruno Alves.


Costa at Wolfsburg in October 2009

In July 2007, as first-team opportunities appeared few at Porto, Costa signed with Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg on a three-year contract.[1] After a shaky start, he finished the season as an undisputed starter as the side qualified to the UEFA Cup.

On 28 September 2008, in a game against Karlsruher SC, Costa scored just 15 seconds after his introduction, making it the second-fastest goal ever scored by a substitute.[2] In the summer of 2009, he was about to be transferred to Real Zaragoza, but the transfer could not be completed because the two parties could not come to an agreement.[3] The deal was finally canceled on 29 July, and the player returned to Wolfsburg.

On 28 January 2010, although he was being used regularly at Wolfsburg, Costa joined OSC Lille in France.


On 17 May, after having contributed relatively to Lille's fourth place in Ligue 1, he moved teams and countries again, joining Valencia CF of Spain on a four-year contract.[4][5]

On 9 March 2011 Costa scored his first goal for Valencia, putting the Che ahead at FC Schalke 04 for the season's UEFA Champions League round-of-16, in an eventual 1–3 loss (2–4 on aggregate).[6] In the ensuing off-season, he was selected by manager Unai Emery as one of the team's captains.

Things quickly turned sour for Costa however: he was replaced at half-time of an eventual 4–3 home win against Racing de Santander,[7] and quickly went from first to fourth-choice after unflaterring comments directed against his teammates and management.[8][9][10]

Later years

Costa left Valencia by mutual consent on 21 July 2014, as his contract was due to expire in June 2015.[11] One week later he signed for Al-Sailiya SC, for two years.[12] He scored his first and only goal for the Qatari club on 30 October, in a 4–3 home success over Al-Wakrah Sport Club.[13]

PAOK FC signed Costa in late January 2015, after a successful medical test.[14] In an interview to Portuguese newspaper A Bola, a few months after his transfer, he talked about his experience in Asia by stating: "It was a completely different reality, that I couldn't accept. Everything was so non professional".[15] During his 12-month tenure, he appeared in 37 games all competitions comprised, his only goal coming on 27 August 2015 in a 1–1 draw at Brøndby IF for the play-off round of the Europa League.[16][17]

On 1 February 2016, 34-year-old Costa returned to Spain and its top flight and joined Granada CF until June 2017.[18] He vowed to defend his new team "to the death".[19] His first appearance took place six days later, as he played the full 90 minutes in a 1–2 home loss against Real Madrid.[20]

On 5 July 2016, after contributing with 14 starts and one goal[21] to his side's eventual survival, Costa had his contract terminated by mutual consent.[22] He resumed his career at FC Luzern in Switzerland days later.[23]

International career

Costa in action against Croatia in a 2013 friendly

Costa played for Portugal at under-21 level and was also a part of the Olympic team that played in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens. A full international since 2005, he was called up to the squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where he appeared against Germany in the 1–3 third-place playoff loss.

On 10 May 2010, national team boss Carlos Queiroz announced a provisional list of 24 players in view for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, with Costa being included, thus returning to the squad after an absence of four years. In the tournament he played twice, always as right back: in the group stage 0–0 against Brazil, and the round-of-16 loss against Spain (0–1, where he was sent off in the last minute, receiving a three-match ban for his actions[24]).

Costa played and started two games in the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign. He scored his first international goal on 11 October 2013 in a 1–1 home draw against Israel,[25] and was named by manager Paulo Bento in the final 23-man squad for the tournament in Brazil.[26]

On 16 June 2014, Costa became the second Portuguese to play in three World Cups after Cristiano Ronaldo did so in the same game, coming on for the second half of the first group stage match against Germany, a 0–4 loss.[27] He was then selected to replace the suspended Pepe in a 2–2 draw with the United States, making a goal-line clearance from Michael Bradley in the second half.[28]


As of 30 January 2016[29][30]
Club Season League National Cup[lower-alpha 1] League Cup Continental Other Total
Porto 2001–02 Primeira Liga 60000060
2002–03 Primeira Liga 100406[lower-alpha 2]1201
2003–04 Primeira Liga 915000141
2004–05 Primeira Liga 241106[lower-alpha 3]1312
2005–06 Primeira Liga 181203[lower-alpha 3]0231
2006–07 Primeira Liga 80102[lower-alpha 3]0110
Total 7531301721055
Wolfsburg 2007–08 Bundesliga 20230232
2008–09 Bundesliga 113206[lower-alpha 2]0193
2009–10 Bundesliga 111005[lower-alpha 3]0161
Total 42650110586
Lille 2009–10 Ligue 1 10100101
Total 10100101
Valencia 2010–11 La Liga 290207[lower-alpha 3]1381
2011–12 La Liga 120105[lower-alpha 2]1181
2012–13 La Liga 264406[lower-alpha 3]0364
2013–14 La Liga 203309[lower-alpha 2]1324
Total 87710027312410
Al-Sailiya 2014–15 Qatar Stars League 15100151
Total 1510000151
PAOK 2014–15 Superleague Greece 15000150
2015–16 Superleague Greece 11010101221
Total 26010101371
Career total 2551829065634924






  1. "Ricardo Costa to bolster Wolfsburg defence". Vfl Wolfsburg. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  2. "Milos Jojic: The fastest debut goal ever". Borussia Dortmund. 15 February 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2015.
  3. "Martins rückt auf Platz eins der Wunschliste" [Martins still in No. 1 in wishlist] (in German). kicker. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  4. "Ricardo Costa, nuevo jugador del Valencia CF para las próximas cuatro temporadas" [Ricardo Costa, new Valencia player for next four seasons] (in Spanish). Valencia CF. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  5. "Valencia confirm Costa capture". UEFA.com. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
  6. "Farfán leads Schalke past Valencia". UEFA.com. 9 March 2011. Retrieved 9 March 2011.
  7. "Soldado late show sinks Santander". ESPN Soccernet. 27 August 2011. Archived from the original on 2 November 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  8. "Unai Emery margina a Parejo y Ricardo Costa" [Unai Emery ousts Parejo and Ricardo Costa] (in Spanish). Marca. 4 October 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  9. "Ricardo Costa: ´No quería causar problemas´" [Ricardo Costa: ´I didn't mean to cause problems´] (in Spanish). Super Deporte. 7 October 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  10. "Ricardo Costa vuelve a cargar contra sus compañeros" [Ricardo Costa charges against teammates again] (in Spanish). Ciber Che. 25 October 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
  11. "Primera Division: Ricardo Costa leaves Valencia by mutual consent". Sky Sports. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  12. السيلية يدعم خط دفاعه بالتعاقد مع البرتغالي ريكاردو كوستا (in Arabic). Al-Sailiya SC. 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  13. "7 goal thriller as Sailiya edge Al Wakrah". Qatar Stars League. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  14. "PAOK strikes deal with Portugal's Ricardo Costa". Ekathimerini. 27 January 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
  15. "Ricardo Costa explains Qatar exit". SDNA. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  16. "Ricardo Costa leaves PAOK for Granada CF". SDNA. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  17. "Brøndby 1–1 PAOK". UEFA.com. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  18. "Ricardo Costa ficha por el Granada CF" [Ricardo Costa signs for Granada CF] (in Spanish). Granada Digital. 1 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  19. "Presentación de Costa, Doucouré y Cuenca" [Presentation of Costa, Doucouré and Cuenca] (in Spanish). Granada CF. 3 February 2016. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  20. "Granada 1–2 Real Madrid". The Guardian. 7 February 2016. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
  21. "Granada 3–2 Las Palmas". ESPN FC. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  22. "El Granada acuerda con Ricardo Costa la rescisión de su contrato" [Granada agrees with Ricardo Costa to terminate his contract] (in Spanish). Ideal. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  23. "Ricardo Costa neu beim FC Luzern" [Ricardo Costa new at FC Luzern] (in German). Neue Luzerner Zeitung. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  24. ""This punishment is too heavy" – Costa". PortuGOAL. 9 July 2010. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  25. "Portugal pegged back by late Israel strike". UEFA.com. 12 October 2013. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
  26. "Paulo Bento announces Portugal's 23-man World Cup squad". PortuGOAL. 19 May 2014. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  27. "Muller-inspired Germany thrash ten-man Portugal". FIFA.com. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
  28. "Varela strikes to save Portugal". FIFA.com. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
  29. "Ricardo Costa". ForaDeJogo. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  30. "Ricardo Costa". Soccerway. Retrieved 6 February 2014.
  31. "Selecção distinguida pelo Duque de Bragança" [National team honoured by Duke of Bragança] (in Portuguese). Cristiano Ronaldo News. 30 August 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006.
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