Rui Costa Manuel
Rui Manuel César Costa is a former Portuguese professional footballer. Regarded by pundits as one of the greatest players of his generation, Costa usually played as an attacking midfielder, and was known in particular for his excellent technique, playmaking ability, and eye for goal from midfield. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100, as one of the 125 greatest living football players. Nicknamed “The Maestro”, Costa spent the majority of his career with Benfica in Portugal and Fiorentina and A.C. Milan in Italy. In a top-flight career spanning 17 years, he won several trophies, including one Primeira Liga title, one Taça de Portugal, one Serie A title, three Coppa Italia, one UEFA Champions League title and one UEFA Super Cup. A Portuguese international, Costa amassed 94 caps and scored 26 goals for A Selecção and represented the country in three UEFA European Championships and one FIFA World Cup.
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This shirt was worn by Manuel Rui Costa during the Serie A’s game between Fiorentina and Vicenza which took place in Firenze, “Artemio Franchi” Stadium, on January 31st 1999. Fiorentina defeated Vicenza 3-0. The shirt was was swapped with a Vicenza’s player who we got it from. In the summer of 1994, at the end of his third season in Benfica’s senior squad, Fiorentina offered 1,200 million escudos (approximately €6 million) for the young Rui Costa. Since Benfica were struggling with financial problems, Costa had to leave. Despite the heavy competition with the best midfielders in that time such as Zinedine Zidane, Costa was named the best number 10 player in Serie A a few times. His departure from Fiorentina was discussed every season, since many clubs constantly showed interest in signing him. However, he only left Fiorentina one season before their bankruptcy in the 2001–02 season. With the Florentine club, Costa won the Coppa Italia twice, also winning a Supercoppa Italiana. In June 2001, Fiorentina agreed to sell both Costa and Francesco Toldo to Parma for 140 billion lire. Despite both players refusal to join, Costa and Toldo were sold to AC Milan and Inter Milan, respectively, for the same total transfer fee.
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Considered one of the greatest midfielders of his generation, Costa was a classic number 10, who usually played in a creative role as an attacking midfielder behind the strikers, but was also capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker, as a second striker, or as a winger. A quick, intelligent, and hard-working player, throughout his career, he was renowned for his fine technique, dribbling skills, movement, great vision, and precise passing, which made him an excellent assist provider, and enabled him to create space for his teammates, or orchestrate his teams’ attacking moves. Although he was mainly known to be an unselfish team player, he also possessed an eye for goal from midfield, and was an accurate striker of the ball with both feet, in particular from outside the area. He was also an accurate free kick and penalty taker. Rui Costa was sponsored by American sportswear company Nike and appeared in Nike commercials. In 1996, he starred in a Nike commercial titled “Good vs Evil” in a gladiatorial game set in a Roman amphitheatre. Appearing alongside football players from around the world, including Ronaldo, Paolo Maldini, Eric Cantona, Luís Figo and Patrick Kluivert, they defend “the beautiful game” against a team of demonic warriors, before it culminates with Cantona striking the ball and destroying evil. Rui Costa features in EA Sports’ FIFA football video game series; he was included in the Ultimate Team Legends in FIFA 16. On the following day after his final professional game, Costa was presented as director of football at Benfica, hiring Quique Sánchez Flores as head coach and being responsible for the formation of the team in the next season. During the summer 2008 transfer window, Costa was able – already as director of football – to sign a few well-known players, such as Argentine playmaker Pablo Aimar and bringing in Spanish winger José Antonio Reyes and Honduran striker David Suazo in on loan, thus gaining general praise from both board and fans alike. On the following Summer, Costa further increased his efforts to build a more strengthened Benfica team following a disappointing league campaign in the previous season. He would make several high-profile signings such as Argentine striker Javier Saviola, Brazilian attacking midfielder Ramires and Spanish defensive midfielder Javi García, along with experienced Portuguese manager Jorge Jesus. His major signings would prove to be successful as Benfica would win the Primeira Liga in the 2009–10 season for the first time in five years. Benfica would also win the Taça da Liga in the same season defeating Porto in the final.
Milan vs Juventus
Match Worn Shirt
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The 2003 Supercoppa Italiana was a match contested by Juventus, the 2002–03 Serie A winner, and Milan, the 2002–03 Coppa Italia winner. It was the sixth appearance for Juventus (3 victories in 1995, 1997 and 2002) and the seventh for Milan (victories in 1988, 1992, 1993, 1994). The match was played in East Rutherford, New Jersey in the United States, the home pitch of the Major League Soccer club New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now New York Red Bulls), with a heavily Italian heritage in the region. Juventus beat Milan on penalties, three months after losing to the same opposition in a shootout in the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final. This game was the only with the “Coppa Italia” badge on chest left side very close to the team’s logo. Apparently the management didn’t like the position of this badge so for the rest of season the badge was used in the middle central chest.