Rui Costa to quit at season's end

Benfica's former Portuguese international Rui Costa revealed Monday that he will retire at the end of the season.

The 35-year-old midfielder said that he always intended to end his career with Benfica, the club where he began his professional career in 1991.

"I would have liked to leave the club proud of what I achieved ... and for what I achieved to be appreciated, and for me to be recognised as a good professional," he told the Daily Record.

And he admitted that he would like to continue with the Portuguese giants in a coaching capacity.

"At Benfica I see myself in the job of sporting director. (I) need to continue to smell the odour of the locker rooms.

"But I still have four months left before hanging up my boots."

Rui Costa, who had 96 caps for the national side, retired from international football after Euro 2004, where hosts Portugal lost in the final to Greece.

After Benfica (1991-94) he played in Italy with Fiorentina (1994-2001), then AC Milan until 2006.

He returned to Benfica last year but was sidelined for long periods injured. The club are currently second in the league seven-points behind FC Porto.