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Rui Costa forgets Milan strife for World Cup tilt

Tuesday 14th May 2002

Portugal midfielder Manuel Rui Costa is optimistic that he will be back to his best for the World Cup, despite a troubled season with AC Milan.

"This is a new phase of the season and I will try to forget everything I've been through this year," he said. "We still have a month to go and I'm not worried about the form I'll be in by the first game."

The former Fiorentina playmaker has seen his season ravaged by ankle and elbow injuries. He is yet to rediscover the kind of form that persuaded Milan to shell out £27 million on him last summer.

Portugal kick off their World Cup campaign against the USA in Suwon on June 5 and, from a group that also includes Poland and hosts South Korea, Rui Costa is optimistic of progressing.

"Even the worst team in the World Cup will think they are capable of reaching the final and, although we know it will be difficult, we believe we can do it," he said.

"It's reasonable to dream and work for it. We have to believe it is possible and the way we played in Euro 2000 fuels our hope, which gives us a responsibility and a pride to play in this team.

"We want the world to look on us as a great team, with a pleasant image."

The semi-final defeat to France in Euro 2000 was Portugal's best finish in a tournament since 1966 and there is still a sense that the World Youth Cup-winning teams of 1989 and 1991 have yet to fulfil their potential.

But Rui Costa is optimistic that this side can still reach the heights. "The adventure is just starting," he said. "It's never too late to make history - and this generation of players has been trying to do that for the past ten years."
 

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Man Utd, Barca chase Milan's Rui Costa


Portuguese international Rui Costa's Milan adventure could be over after only one season as news emerges that the midfielder is being pursued by Manchester United and Barcelona.
Rui Costa had a less than convincing debut season with Milan after moving from Fiorentina at the start of last season.

Manchester United has come into the equation for the Portuguese star as the likelihood increases that Juan Sebastian Veron will leave Old Trafford after only one season.

Reports out of Italy today suggest Barcelona have also offered Brazilian star Rivaldo to United as part of an exchange for Veron.
 

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When will these spammers be banned? Or are they all the alter egos of administrators? ;)
 
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