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Rui Costa leaving on a high

Published: Saturday 3 July 2004, 20.04CET
Portugal playmaker Rui Costa has announced that he will retire from international football after the UEFA EURO 2004™ final against Greece.
by Jorge Vicente
from Alcochete
 
Published: Saturday 3 July 2004, 20.04CET

Rui Costa leaving on a high

Portugal playmaker Rui Costa has announced that he will retire from international football after the UEFA EURO 2004™ final against Greece.

Portugal playmaker Rui Costa has announced his international retirement ahead of tomorrow night's UEFA EURO 2004™ final against Greece.

Distinguished career
The 32-year-old AC Milan player has made three appearances for Portugal at the finals, scoring twice as a substitute. He first shot to stardom in his homeland in 1991 when scoring the winning penalty for Portugal in the FIFA World Youth Championship success against Brazil. He made his full debut against Switzerland in March 1993 and first appeared in a major competition at EURO '96™.

'First goal'
"Tomorrow will be my last match with the national team," said Rui Costa, who will win his 94th cap if selected. "When I won the 1991 World Youth Cup, my first goal was to prove to everyone that Portugal could win something and I expect we will do this tomorrow.

New generation
"It has been a great honour to play so many years for my country, but the transition from the 90s generation to the new one is done and now is the time for our young players to lead our team to great things. Of course I will miss these players, because I have spent more than 13 years giving my best for my country."

Last updated: 03/07/04 17.55CET

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