Nickname: *The Maestro*
Club: ACF Fiorentina
Growth Type: Standard/Lasting
What can one say that has not already been said of Rui Manuel Cesar Costa, often referred to simply as The Maestro. The midfielder will always be remembered as one of Portugal’s greatest players of all time, and a true world-class performer.
Rui Costa’s ability to provide lethal and accurate passes at any given moment, and envision the game like so few can, have made him a player that fans around the world have marvelled at. It came as no surprise when the player was handpicked by the greatest of them all, Pele, as one of FIFA’s 100 greatest living footballers in 2004.
It would be in Serie A that Rui Costa truly captured the world’s attention. During his seven-year tenure the player formed a devastating partnership with Argentinean striker, Gabriel Batistuta, propelling the club to two Italian Cups and an Italian Supercup. Costa scored 40 goals in 204 appearances for the club.
Again Costa saw a club he had given so much to hit with chronic financial problems. Fiorentina filed for bankruptcy and was forced to sell the dazzling midfielder to Serie A rivals AC Milan for a record Italian transfer fee of 38 million euros in 2001...