The rise of Da Costa
Manuel da Costa has been rewarded for his excellent form with West Ham United with a call-up for the Portugal Under-23 national team.
The 23-year-old will link up with his country this Saturday ahead of the International Challenge Trophy against Northern Ireland on 12 October at the Municipal Stadium in Cartaxo.
Da Costa came into the Hammers side four matches ago and has helped Avram Grant’s men to remain unbeaten since – forming a strong partnership with Matthew Upson. News of the talented centre-back’s form has had a positive impact in Portugal.
His last appearance came with a B-team game in April 2009 and this opportunity could help him to impress new national-team coach Paulo Bento. The former Sporting Clube de Portugal manager has just taken charge of the national team with the aim of rescuing their UEFA Euro 2012 campaign after a slow start.
Although yet to win a senior cap, Da Costa was called up twice for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying matches in October 2006 and March 2007.