Rui Manuel César Costa, OIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈʁuj ˈkɔʃtɐ]; born 29 March 1972) is a former Portuguese football player and current Director of Football for Sport Lisboa e Benfica. An attacking midfielder also capable of playing as a deep-seated defensive midfielder, he most recently played for Portuguese club Benfica. Renowned for his fine technique and his excellent passing, he's now considered as one of the greatest midfielders of his generation. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in FIFA 100, as one of the 125 greatest living football players.
At the age of five, Costa joined the infant indoor football team of Damaia Ginásio Clube. Rui tried his luck at Benfica. Within ten minutes of training, Portugal legend Eusébio, who was supervising the youngsters, was impressed at Rui's skills. Up until 1990, Rui played for Benfica's youth squads. That season he was loaned to Fafe on a season long deal.
In 1991, after the Under-21 World Cup, which Portugal won after a victorious penalty kick scored by Costa, he returned to Benfica. There, he won the Cup of Portugal in 1993 and the Portuguese First Division title in 1993-94. This would be Benfica's last league title for 11 years.