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Costinha's race against time

Published: Tuesday 13 May 2003, 19.20CET
A thigh injury could rule FC Porto's Costinha out of next week's UEFA Cup final against Celtic FC in Seville.
Published: Tuesday 13 May 2003, 19.20CET

Costinha's race against time

A thigh injury could rule FC Porto's Costinha out of next week's UEFA Cup final against Celtic FC in Seville.

A thigh injury may rule Portuguese international Costinha out of the FC Porto squad for next week's UEFA Cup final.

Race against time
The midfield player was substituted after 46 minutes of Porto's weekend game against FC Paços de Ferreira and medical staff at the club are now working to try and gauge the extent of his injury in the hope of restoring Costinha to full fitness before the final against Celtic FC.

Excellent form
One of the key players in the Porto midfield, Costinha has been in excellent form in his second season at the club, prompting Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari to make him an international regular.

Previous injury
Costinha's UEFA Cup campaign has already been marred by injury after he was forced to miss the second leg of Porto's semi-final victory against S.S. Lazio with a head injury. However, he has pledged to travel to the final in Seville whether he is fully fit or not.

Set for Seville
"We are a team, and that includes those who are not playing," he said. "One thing I know is that I will be in Seville even if I can't play." Medical tests on Wednesday should provide a definitive answer on whether he will be fit to compete against Celtic.

Mourinho doubts
However, his coach at Porto, José Mourinho, was not confident that Costinha would be fit in time for the game. "He thinks he can play, but I think he can't," said Mourinho. "He very important for his ability in the air, especially since we are playing against a British team."

Name unveiled
Meanwhile, Porto, whose club badge features a dragon logo, have revealed the name for their new stadium, being built for next season ahead of UEFA EURO 2004™. The venue, replacing the old Antas stadium, will bear the name Estádio do Dragão - the Dragon stadium.

Last updated: 14/05/03 11.08CET

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