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|Full name||Jorge Paulo Costa Almeida|
|Date of birth||14 October 1971|
|Place of birth||Porto, Portugal|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|Current club||Anorthosis (coach)|
|1990–1991||→ Penafiel (loan)||19||(3)|
|1991–1992||→ Marítimo (loan)||31||(1)|
|2001–2002||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||24||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Nicknamed Bicho (animal) and Tanque (tank) by his colleagues and fans for his aggressive and physical playing style, he played most of his professional career with Porto, being team captain for several seasons and winning a total of 24 major titles, notably eight national championships and the 2004 UEFA Champions League.
Born in Porto, Costa made his professional debuts with F.C. Penafiel, on loan from hometown's F.C. Porto. The following season he was also loaned, to fellow top flight outfit C.S. Marítimo, playing 31 games including a controversial one in the Estádio das Antas where he scored an own goal; despite it being clearly unintentional the accusations of "scoring for his team" continued, forcing Porto's president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa to forbid further loaned players to play against Porto, a decision that stood for several decades.
In the 1992–93 campaign Costa finally joined FC Porto, slowly making his way. Five seasons later he switched to jersey No. 2, previously worn by right defender João Domingos Pinto, also being named team captain as the veteran retired. His career three only met four black spots: two serious knee injuries (during the 1995–96 season, which ruled him out of UEFA Euro 1996 and during 1997's pre-season in Sweden) and a feud with coach Octávio Machado early in 2001–02, which forced him into "exile" at Charlton Athletic. However, the image of Costa as the captain went untouched, and Porto fans turned against Machado with massive criticism of his team management and coaching, eventually forcing him outside the club.
Additionally, in 1996–97's UEFA Champions League, Costa was involved in an incident with A.C. Milan's George Weah on 20 November 1996, with the Liberian striker breaking his nose, alleging that he had been racially abused. Costa strenuously denied the accusations of racism and was not charged by UEFA as no witnesses could verify Weah's allegations, not even his Milan teammates. Weah, on the other hand, was suspended for six matches, and later attempted to apologise to Costa but this was rebuffed by the Portuguese, who considered the charges of racist insults levelled against him to be defamatory and took the Liberian to court; the incident resulted in Costa being sidelined for three weeks, also having to undergo facial surgery.
With José Mourinho in charge, Costa returned to Porto next season, and was unanimously chosen as captain of a side that went on to win a championship-cup-UEFA Cup treble, making him the third Porto captain in a row to lift cups at international level (following Pinto and Fernando Gomes). The player's winning streak continued as the next season he lifted the Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup.
In January 2006, after having been deemed surplus to requirements by new club coach Co Adriaanse, Costa signed for Standard Liège from Belgium, reuniting with former Porto teammate Sérgio Conceição, and helped his new side to a runner-up finish in the league. He decided to retire from the game (claiming "personal reasons") in June, despite having a running contract until 2007.
In the 2006–07 season Costa began his coaching career, with Sporting Clube de Braga, first as assistant to Rogério Gonçalves, whom he replaced in February 2007. In his first season he led the Minho side to the fourth place and the semifinals of the domestic cup, also reaching the round-of-16 in the UEFA Cup, being ousted by Tottenham Hotspur 4–6 on aggregate.
After again guiding Braga to the UEFA Cup group stage, Costa was fired midway through his second year. He then moved to second level's S.C. Olhanense in the following campaign, eventually finishing the season as champions and returning the Algarve side to the first division after 34 years. After helping Olhanense to the 13th position in the following campaign – thus safe from relegation – he left the club, joining another top division team, Académica de Coimbra.
On 21 December 2010 Costa announced his departure from Académica and his retirement from coaching, citing personal reasons. The team was placed in ninth position after the 14th round, eventually narrowly escaping relegation. In May 2011, however, he announced his comeback, signing a contract with Romanian side CFR Cluj.
On 24 October 2012 AEL Limassol FC appointed Costa as their new manager, on the eve of a Europa League group stage tie against Fenerbahçe SK. In the following summer he moved teams but stayed in Cyprus, signing for 1+1 years with Anorthosis Famagusta FC.
With Portugal, Costa and Fernando Couto were considered the best defensive duo in UEFA Euro 2000. The former retired from international football after the 2002 FIFA World Cup, having won fifty caps with two goals; in the latter competition he scored an own goal as the national side lost 2–3 to the United States, eventually exiting in the group stage.
|1||15 November 2000||Estádio Primeiro de Maio, Braga, Portugal||Israel||2–0||2–1||Friendly|
|2||13 February 2002||Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, Barcelona, Spain||Spain||0–1||1–1||Friendly|
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Portugal||League||Taça de Portugal||Taça da Liga||Europe||Total|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Portugal||League||Taça de Portugal||Taça da Liga||Europe||Total|
|Belgium||League||Belgian Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2005–06||Standard Liège||Belgian League||13||0|