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Fernando Couto

Published: Monday 1 September 2003, 19.37CET

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Published: Monday 1 September 2003, 19.37CET

Fernando Couto


Clubs: FC Porto, FC Famalicão, A. Académica de Coimbra, FC Porto, Parma AC, FC Barcelona, S.S. Lazio, Parma FC

UEFA honours
UEFA European Championship:
runner-up 2004
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup:
winner 1997, 1999
winner 1995
UEFA Super Cup:
winner 1997

• The first Portuguese footballer to reach a century of international caps, Couto was a highly accomplished central defender who won a cluster of major club honours, including league titles in Portugal, Italy and Spain.

• He started out at Porto but had two seasons away at Famalicão and Académica before establishing himself as a defensive linchpin with the Dragons.

• Helped Portugal win the 1989 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Saudi Arabia and graduated to the senior national side in December of the following year, making his debut in a friendly against the United States.

• Became a prominent figure for both club and country in the early 1990s, winning two Liga titles and two Portuguese Cups with Porto before he moved abroad, at the age of 25, to join Parma.

• A superb debut season in Italy brought him four Serie A goals and victory in the UEFA Cup as Parma defeated Juventus 2-1 on aggregate in the final.

• Left Parma for Barcelona in 1996 after an impressive performance at EURO '96, where he played every minute for Portugal and scored the winning goal in a group game against Turkey.

• Collected six trophies during his two-year stint with Barça, including the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the Liga title, before returning to Italy to join Lazio, where he enjoyed further success, winning the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (again) in his first season and a Serie A/Coppa Italia double in his second.

• An ever-present again for Portugal at UEFA EURO 2000, where they reached the semi-finals, he also represented his country at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Retired from international football after UEFA EURO 2004 with 110 caps and eight goals to his name.

• Pipped Luís Figo to become Portugal's first centurion on 11 October 2003 in a friendly against Albania.

• Couto received a commemorative cap and medal from UEFA to mark his century of international appearances on 7 October 2011, before Portugal's 5-3 win against Iceland in UEFA European Championship qualifying.

• "It was fantastic," said Couto. "It was a very important tribute for me. It's the recognition of a career, and that is fantastic."

Last updated: 09/12/13 3.01CET

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