Rui Manuel Cesar Costa, OIH, most commonly known simply as Rui Costa, is a former Portuguese international football player who featured prominently during the 1990s and 2000s. He played as an attacking midfielder and is a Portuguese football legend. Rui Costa was named by Pele in March 2004 as one of the 125 greatest living footballers and is currently the Director of Football of Portuguese powerhouse Benfica.
Rui Costa developed at the youth academy of Portuguese giants Benfica and made his club career debut for AD Fafe in 1990 while on loan from Benfica. He returned to Benfica in 1991 after a hugely impressive performace at the Under-21 World Cup in that same yar and won the league in 1993-1994.
He was signed by Italian side Fiorentina in the summer of 1994 for 6 million euros and he became one of the best players at Florence. He featured for Fiorentina for 7 seasons and won the Italian Cup twice, in 1995-1996 and 2000-2001. He scored 40 goals in 239 league matches and left the club after it went bankrupt after the 2001-2002 season.
AC Milan paid Fiorentina a massive 35 million euros for Costa, who played for them until 2006, scoring 7 goals in 169 league matches. Rui Costa won the Italian Serie, the Italian Super Cup, the UEFA Champions League and the European Super Cup one time each.
In 2006 Rui Costa returned to his old club Benfica and played for them for two seasons. He ended his playing career against Vitoria de Setubal on May 11,2008 and was promptly made the Director of Football of Benfica.
Rui Costa made his international debut for Portugal in 1993 and played 94 international matches for his nation, scoring 26 goals. He played for his nation at the 2002 World Cup finals and in Euro 2004.