I made my Portugal debut alongside Cristiano Ronaldo but retired at 25… now I have a dream career as a flight attendant
COSTINHA made his Portugal debut alongside Cristiano Ronaldo but now flies through the skies as a flight attendant.
In February 2001, Costinha and Ronaldo made their debut together for Portugal U15 against South Africa.
Costinha, a young midfielder, played alongside Ronaldo, who scored in the 2-1 win.
Since then, their lives have taken very different paths.
38-year-old Ronaldo has become one of the greatest players of all time and continues to score goals to this day. He recently became the first player in men’s football to score 100 international goals in a competitive game.
Costinha, on the other hand, quit soccer at 25 and started a career in aviation.
The 37-year-old is now a flight attendant and counts Roma boss Jose Mourinho among his youngest clients.
Speaking to Maisfutebol, he said: “Football in the lower leagues is very physical, it started to give me problems, I was constantly injured.
“When I saw that I was not going to reach a high level anymore, that I wasn’t able to do it, I made a conscious decision to leave. Many got carried away too late, even had the legitimacy to believe, because I had a very promising start.
“But when I realized it wasn’t going to be as good as I thought, I turned my attention to other solutions.”
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The former Vitoria man earned 13 caps for various Portuguese youth teams and rose through the U-20s.
Costinha ended his career in 2011 after stints in the lower divisions of Portuguese and Spanish football.
He added: “I started here working for another insurance company, MAPFRE, in the field of travel assistance for four years. Meanwhile, Marco Lanca, also a former player, challenged me to something that had always interested me: aviation.
“I love to travel, to discover contrasting realities like Sao Tome and Principe or New York where I was recently and then to return to our Portugal. It’s a career that excites me even though I was away from the company for two years before returning permanently.”
Looking back on his football career, Costinha is still very proud that he made his debut alongside Ronaldo.
He said: “I think the most significant moment of his career was really the first game for the national team, in the Under-15s. I still get goosebumps when I hear the anthem to this day.
“Obviously it becomes even more emblematic because that day Cristiano Ronaldo also made his debut, although we still had no idea how far he would go.”
He added: “He was a much more virtuosic player at the time and was already at a much higher level than the others.
“Deep down I feel privileged. I’ve had the opportunity to play football and we have to be aware that it’s not for everyone, it’s not easy to make a career out of football. I prefer to see the glass half full .”
“Today I’m privileged, happy because I have another dream job.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/7747299/portugal-debut-cristiano-ronaldo-retired-25-flight-attendant/ I made my Portugal debut alongside Cristiano Ronaldo but retired at 25… now I have a dream career as a flight attendant