Brazilian footballer Ricardo Costa has played in eight different countries during his 15 year career.
The striker has played for a number of teams including Corinthians, Örebro SK and Deportivo Saprissa.
You started your career with Brazilian giants, Corinthians in 2000. What was it like to train for such a historic club?
It was a great experience to play for Corinthians, this is something you carry with you for your whole career.
In January 2003 you moved to Paulista FC. Why did you leave Corinthians?
I left Corinthians because I would not have made the senior team in my opinion. I was young and the team was very good. Paulista was the best move for me. I signed and in a few months the chance to go to Europe popped up.
Six months later you moved to Sweden when you signed for Örebro SK. What made you leave Brazil?
To play in Europe was a dream of mine since I was a kid. It was a chance to play in a nice country on a better contract.
You made over 70 appearances for ÖSK in the Allsvenskan. How different was the standard of football in Sweden compared to Brazil?
Sweden had a totally different approach and style of football. They based their play on tactics and discipline with not much room for creativity. If you don’t stick to the team’s plan of play you simply don’t succeed. Brazilian football is the opposite. It is full of creativity.
After three successful years in Sweden you moved to Spain when you signed for CD Leganés. How did this opportunity come about?
To leave ÖSK and sign for Leganés was a big mistake. Leganés were struggling to stay in the division and delaying salaries. This was creating a very uncomfortable atmosphere. An agent from Spain contacted my manager at the time and I saw it as a good opportunity. Time showed me it was a mistake. A club almost bankrupt with no ambition and bad management. This was a mix that proved to be a bad choice. I left Leganés because they had money problems. Following my arrival, I was five months behind with my wages. I couldn’t afford to work for free.
Following a short spell with FC Winterthur you returned to Brazil when you signed for Barueri. How much had Brazilian football changed in five years?
I spent a year with Winterthur. They were in a great country and a good league. I got an offer from Barueri to come back home. It was my hometown. Brazilian football didn’t change much, but I was a total different player and person.
Between 2008 and 2010 you played for a total of four different clubs. Why did you find it hard to settle down?
Bad choices! I was in Greece for four months without any pay. Then I went back to Brazil which followed with a good opportunity in Korea. It was a great life experience! Most of the clubs had a nice set up and were easy to work with but it was difficult to live. My daughter was born so I started to think about settling down somewhere.
In 2010 you moved to Malta when you signed for Tarxien. How did you find your first season in Maltese football?
After returning to Brazil I won the State League with ABC-RN. I received a phone call from Tarxien. We built a great team, some say it was one of the best in the club’s history. Even to this day people remind me about that 10/11 season.
Malta is a small country but is absolutely lovely. It was difficult to leave as I was finding happiness on the island. I found a great man and coach to lead us to glorious things. Noel Coleiro was probably the greatest man I met in football and he helped me to become a better player.
Why did you move to Saprissa in Costa Rica?
After two years with Tarxien in Malta the doors of Saprissa were open for me and I knew the experience would be fantastic. Over 20,000 people came to watch us playing every week. The atmosphere in the stadium was great! They are very passionate about football.
On your return to Malta you signed for Pietà Hotspurs. How can you compare Hotspurs and Tarxien?
I came back to Malta to play for Pietà Hotspurs because of my previous coach Coleiro. I enjoyed working with him in the past and I believed in the projects he was involved with. Pieta and Taxien were similar clubs, they had good people taking care of the club. I have good memories at Pieta.
You currently play for Fgura United. What are you plans for the future?
I am 33 years old now. To enjoy football is my biggest goal. Fgura is a good fit for me. There are very good coaches and good facilities. The team is young but with good potential. For the future I want to keep the passion for football.
Sooner or later I will retire, so it is very important for me to keep the pleasure of stepping onto the pitch. Fgura provides me with that. Football is not forever but sometimes it dies inside players before they retire.
My passion is still alive, and so is my ambition. Every game is a challenge and I live for every match as if it is my last one.
You have played in eight different countries. Where did you enjoy your football the most?
Brazil has the best football. I enjoyed my time there. The experience at Saprissa was amazing as well, these are things I will carry throughout my life.
Which country has the highest quality of football?
Despite the problems I had at the club the level of Spanish football is very high.
Who is the best player you have played with during your career?
I have played against and with some good players but Kaka was the best for sure.
How do you feel the Maltese media need to improve their coverage of football?
The Maltese media is practically inexistent. There is no coverage of training and when they start treating players like professional’s people will start looking at players in a different way.
I understand that there is not a massive interest like in the UK or Italy but I see no efforts in bringing the coverage up. The Maltese Football Federation could do a much better job too.
In what way can Maltese clubs improve the standard of quality for both facilities and players?
Football in Malta is financed by one source, and that’s a big mistake. Clubs depend on president’s donations. Football has zero marketing initiatives in Malta. I understand there is only 500,000 people on the island but everything is proportional. There are dozens of ideas to fund football in Malta and give more independence to clubs. The MFA has the power to change it. They are improving it a bit but still the image of Maltese football is terrible.