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Jorge Costa to help Standard fly

Former FC Porto captain and Portugal defender Jorge Costa has joined Belgian title challengers R. Standard de Liège on an 18-month deal.

Portuguese connection
The 34-year-old has signed up until June 2007 with the Belgian title challengers, having been released from his contract with Porto last Friday. Costa, who was out of favour under coach Co Adriaanse at the Estádio do Dragão, cited the influence of Standard's former Portuguese international winger, Sérgio Conceição, as a key factor in the move. Standard lie second in the Belgian top flight, chasing their first title since 1983.

Long service
Capped 50 times by Portugal, the defender was in his 14th season with Porto, whom he skippered to UEFA Champions League success in 2003/04. In all, he made 251 appearances for the club, though none this term. Costa has also played for FC Penafiel and CS Marítimo in Portugal, and Charlton Athletic FC in England.