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EHF European League

Costa: “The only secret is to work every day”

EHF / Tiago Nogueira

Sporting CP confirmed qualification for the last 16 of the EHF European League with a home win, 32:30, against USAM Nimes in the last group phase game. The team led by coach Ricardo Costa did not leave their fate in the hands of others and resolved the matter on their own.

In a game marked by constant balance — a level score no less than 15 times, with most of those moments in the second half — the Portuguese side got the better of the French team. And Sporting were helped by an amazing game from young Francisco Costa, son of coach Ricardo Costa, who shone with 11 goals.

With this fantastic show, the prodigy concluded the group stage of the competition with 36 goals scored after many moments of magic and a cool head in the decisive moments. All this at just 17 years old.

What is Costa’s secret to such a performance? “The only secret is to work every day and have the thought that we want to give the best in each training and things will come out naturally. With the help of my teammates, things also become easier,” highlighted ‘Kiko’ Costa.

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“We really like the fast game and that can be a big advantage”

Sporting’s next opponent will be the current holder of the trophy: mighty Magdeburg. The first game in the last 16 tie will be on March 29 at the João Rocha Pavilion in Lisbon.

“We know it’s going to be a very difficult task but we’re going to go into the game as we always do when it comes to winning,” says the right back for the ‘lions,’ also highlighting a potential key to the outcome of the match.

“We really like the fast game and that can be a big advantage. But we also know that we are going to face an incredible team that plays at the highest level and that will cause us a lot of problems, both offensively and defensively.”

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EHF Respect Your Talent has helped me a lot — it motivates me to train more and more and to want to be better.
Francisco Costa
Sporting CP back

“Respect Your Talent has helped me a lot”

The EHF’s Respect Your Talent programme promotes the holistic development of talented players’ careers, on and off the handball court. In the programme’s pioneering approach, the world’s best handball players, supported by leading field experts, inspire and instruct young athletes. Costa has been part of Respect Your Talent since he was selected as a Player of the Match at the M19 EHF EURO 2021.

The young athlete highlighted that “it is a very interesting and captivating project,” and said “it will help a lot in our growth as athletes.”

Costa has no doubt that being part of the project will help him reach another level: “EHF Respect Your Talent has helped me a lot — it motivates me to train more and more and to want to be better.

“The fact that I play in a team like Sporting CP, which allows me to train at the highest level, is a fundamental aspect to achieve this European dimension at such a young age.”

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