Whenever anyone mentions the modern game and footballing vision
in the same sentence, then one name immediately springs to mind -
Rui Costa. The Portuguese midfield star, who recently brought an
end to his glittering career at the age of 36, was a real
footballing all-rounder. He delighted fans and pundits alike with
his tireless running and strength in the tackle as well as the
creative ability to read play and turn a game with a killer pass.
Rui Manuel Cesar Costa, to use his full name, got his career off to a flying start as a teenager. At the 1991 FIFA World Youth Championship on home soil, he scored the winning penalty in the Final against Brazil and achieved hero-status overnight. This was also the birth of Portugal's "Golden Generation" with Rui Costa and a certain Luis Figo as the lynchpins.
Born on 29 March 1972 in Lisbon, Rui Costa's incredible technique made him one of the greatest players of his generation and he is one of the main reasons why Portugal are now firmly established among the world's elite. "I am proud of my career," says the man who is now looking to pass his experience on in a coaching capacity.
At the UEFA EURO 2000 in Belgium and The Netherlands, he was one of the driving forces behind his country's march to the semi-final. By this time, he had moved on from Benfica and joined Italian club Fiorentina, where he formed a deadly duo with Argentinean striker Gabriel Batistuta. In 2001, Portugal's legendary number 10 finally moved to AC Milan for 38 million euros, with whom two years later he won the UEFA Champions League and the Toyota Intercontinental Cup - his greatest success at club level.
In 2006, the midfield general took his career full circle by
returning to Benfica to see out his playing days back home in
Lisbon. The 92-time international - and the rest of the Golden
Generation - missed out on the ultimate accolade when Portugal went
down to a shock 1-0 defeat to underdogs Greece on home soil in the
final of the UEFA EURO 2004. By that time however, Rui Costa had
not only presided over the rebirth of a footballing national but
also helped to create a new style of play.
FIFA.com now gives you the unique opportunity to put your questions directly to Rui Costa!
Your interview with Rui Costa
The Portuguese midfield legend has agreed to an exclusive interview with FIFA.com in the next few weeks, following hot on the heels of Ryan Giggs. And as was the case with the Manchester United and Wales star, we will not be the ones asking him the questions - we would like you give you the once-in-a-lifetime chance!
Click on the "add comment" link at the end of this article and send in your question. Then click "send" and you should receive a message saying that we have received your question. To take part in "Ask Rui Costa!", you need to be a member of the FIFA.comClub. Registration is quick, simple and of course free of charge, so sign up now!
Unlike the "Your opinion counts" section and other articles on FIFA.com, your questions will not be made public. Instead, members of our editorial team will collect and read them with the best ones being selected for the exclusive interview with Rui Costa and then published here in the next few weeks.
Should you be one of the lucky people to have a question chosen, then your user name will appear in the interview on FIFA.com!
You can of course send us as many questions as you wish. Fingers crossed - maybe you will be one of the lucky ones! And should you not be chosen, then stay tuned as there will be another one of your favourite footballers in the hot-seat next month.