Football lovers, Portugal always gave birth to players who have big names. Before Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Nani, Simao Sabrosa, or Joao Felix appeared, the European samba country also had a great player, Rui Costa.
Yes, the name Manuel Rui Costa may be familiar in the ears of the football lovers. This man once had his heyday in the era of the 90s until the early 2000s. Which he played in the best competition in the world at that time, Italian Serie A.
When playing in the State of Pizza, Rui Costa was part of the Fiorentina and AC Milan teams. Even when he was brought in AC Milan, Rui Costa set a record by being the most expensive player in the club’s history.
At that time, Rui Costa’s brilliant performance for seven seasons with Fiorentina made the price very high. And AC Milan did not hesitate to bring him to the San Siro. While defending Fiorentina from 1994 to 2001, he presented two Coppa Italia trophies and one Italian Super Cup title.
During those seven seasons, he has always been a mainstay on the La Viola midfield with 276 appearances and scored 50 goals in all competitions. His performance with his duet at the time, Gabriel Batistuta was very impressive. They both became scary duets, one of the best duets of all time in the world of football. Because Rui Costa often creates a bait that is then converted into goals by Batistuta.
As a footballer, Rui Costa was indeed awarded by a capable soccer technique, charming ball control, the ability to build attacks, as well as his sharpness in seeing goal opportunities. His style of play is indeed typical. When the ball is at his feet, it seems to stick with him and hard to be stolen.
Thanks to all the greatness that he left at Artemio Franchi, it would be difficult for anyone wearing a jersey number 10 at Fiorentina, to escape his shadow. The number is very identical to him.
Fiorentina fans’ memories might always belong to him when they see the number. Thanks to his greatness he was also dubbed as “The Maestro” or, as Fiorentina supporters called it, “il Maestro Fiorenze”. The middle field maestro is Rui Costa. His movements in the field in arranging attacks are classy orchestration.
You should know that Rui Costa’s golden talent was discovered by Portugal’s all-time legend, Eusebio. When he first joined training with Benfica’s junior team, not even 10 minutes into the training, Eusebio was sure enough that Rui Costa would become a great footballer and apparently, his prediction was right.
Manuel Rui Costa, an attacking midfielder born on 29 March 1972 in Amadora, Portugal. He began his professional career at Benfica. At the club, he played 111 games and scored 19 goals in three seasons in all competitions. He helped the team win the Portuguese league title and a Portuguese trophy.
As we mentioned earlier, that the Italian giant, AC Milan, recruited Rui Costa from Fiorentina in 2001 with a fantastic price of 43.9 million euros or around Rp. 654 billion. The expensive costs spent by AC Milan were replaced by Rui Costa through an impressive performance.
But, his debut with AC Milan was very bitter as he suffered a wrist injury that made his first season with the Rossoneri was quite rough. In that season, he only appeared 33 times in all competitions.
Rui Costa was then able to recover and return to find his glorious performance. He was an important part of AC Milan’s success in the 2002/03 Champions League. Rui Costa’s outstanding performance emerged in the group stage when defeating a strong team at the time, Deportivo La Coruna in Riazor by a score of 4-0. Rui Costa became an actor in the process of all of Milan’s goals. Including a hat trick printed by Filippo Inzaghi.
Rui Costa also performed brilliantly in the Coppa Italia in the same season, helping Milan win the title. His brilliant performance made him the target of Barcelona. But the man from Portugal chose to stay at the San Siro.
Since the arrival of Ricardo Kaka in 2003, Rui Costa rarely got many minutes to play. However, for Kaka, Rui Costa is a teacher or professor.
In the 2003/04 season, Rui Costa helped Milan embrace the Scudetto. Then, in the following season in Serie A against Brescia, he scored a spectacular goal. The curling shot failed to be stopped by the Brescia goalkeeper at that time.
In his five seasons with AC Milan, he was able to give a Serie A title, a Coppa Italia trophy, an Italian Super Cup trophy, a Champions League trophy, and a European Super Cup trophy. In the 2006/07 season, Rui Costa returned home to Benfica and defended his childhood team for two seasons.
Besides Eusebio and Kaka, many players were amazed at his greatness. Cristiano Ronaldo, his junior in Portugal, made Rui Costa his idol player. Pele put Rui Costa in his ranks of the 100 best soccer players of all time.
While defending the Portuguese national team, Rui Costa was called the golden generation thanks to his neat appearance in the Portuguese junior team. At the Junior level, Rui Costa helped Portugal win many achievements, one of which was the 1991 U-20 World Cup.
Meanwhile, in the senior national team, he scored 26 goals from 94 matches. His best achievement only reached the 2004 European Cup runner-up. In 2008, Manuel Rui Costa, the Maestro midfielder, finally retired from football. Until now, he is still remembered as the best Playmaker in his generation.