Fernando Couto

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This name uses Portuguese naming customs. The first or maternal family name is Silva and the second or paternal family name is Couto.
Fernando Couto
FCouto.JPG
Couto in 2011
Personal information
Full name Fernando Manuel Silva Couto
Date of birth (1969-08-02) 2 August 1969 (age 44)
Place of birth Espinho, Portugal
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 12 in)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Braga (assistant)
Youth career
Lourosa
1986–1988 Porto
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988 Porto 1 (0)
1988–1989 Famalicão 0 (0)
1989–1990 Académica 28 (3)
1990–1994 Porto 106 (19)
1994–1996 Parma 39 (4)
1996–1998 Barcelona 44 (0)
1998–2005 Lazio 145 (9)
2005–2008 Parma 63 (1)
Total 426 (36)
National team
1989 Portugal U20 4 (0)
1989–1990 Portugal U21 7 (1)
1990–2004 Portugal 110 (8)
Teams managed
2012– Braga (assistant)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Fernando Manuel Silva Couto, OIH (Portuguese pronunciation: [fɨɾˈnɐ̃du ˈko(w)tu]; born 2 August 1969) is a Portuguese retired footballer who played as a central defender.

During a 21-year professional career he played in a number of top teams in Portugal, Spain and Italy (12 seasons in the latter country), appearing in nearly 600 official games and winning the double in each country, as well as three other UEFA club trophies.

At international level, Couto represented the Portuguese national team in more than 100 games, taking part in the 2002 World Cup as well as three European Championships.

Club career[edit]

Born in Espinho near Porto, Couto joined F.C. Porto's youth system at the age of 17. On 2 June 1988 he made his first-team – and first division – debut, playing 90 minutes in a 1–0 away win against Académica de Coimbra in what would be his only appearance of the season for the national champions. He was then released by the club, playing one year apiece with F.C. Famalicão and Académica.

Couto returned to Porto in 1990, being an instrumental defensive unit in the conquest of six titles during his four-year spell. He subsequently moved to Italy with Parma AC, scoring a career-best four goals in 27 games in his first season and adding the campaign's UEFA Cup, in a 2–1 aggregate win against fellow Serie A side Juventus FC.

In summer 1996 Couto joined FC Barcelona in Spain, alongside former Porto teammates Vítor Baía and manager Bobby Robson, as Luís Figo was also playing for the La Liga giants. Regularly used by the English manager, he was less played by his successor Louis van Gaal, but managed to appear in one of the two European finals the Catalans won, the 1996–97 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.

After two seasons at the Camp Nou, Couto left Barça and moved to Rome's SS Lazio in late June 1998, alongside teammate Iván de la Peña.[1] He appeared in 22 matches in his first year to help the club to the second place in the league, and appeared one minute in the final of the last Cup Winners' Cup, in a 2–1 win against RCD Mallorca at the Villa Park in Birmingham.

In 2001, Couto failed a doping test for the steroid nandrolone. He denied having taken forbidden substances, but his "B" test confirmed the finding and he eventually served four months out of a nine-month worldwide ban for the offence.[2] He continued to appear regularly for Lazio in the following seasons.

In 2005, aged 36, Couto returned to Parma after eleven years, as Lazio was unable to match his wage demands for a contract renewal. After two seasons of regular use he only appeared in 17 games in 2007–08, with the Emilia-Romagna team also suffering top flight relegation; as his contract expired, he decided to retire from football.

In June 2010, two years after his retirement, Couto was named director of football at S.C. Braga.[3] He was named the club's assistant manager for the 2012–13 campaign.

International career[edit]

As a member of Famalicão in the third division, Couto appeared in four games as Portugal won the 1989 FIFA World Youth Championship,[4] being part of a group of players dubbed the "Golden Generation" of Portuguese football. He made his debut for the senior team on 19 December 1990, in a friendly with the United States played in Maia (1–0 win).

Always as first-choice, Couto represented the nation at UEFA Euro 1996 – scoring the game's only goal for the eventual quarterfinalists in a group stage contest against TurkeyEuro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, partnering former Porto teammate Jorge Costa in the last two tournaments, the latter of which ended in group stage exit.

He was selected as captain for Euro 2004 which was played on home soil, starting the first game but eventually being relegated to the bench by Ricardo Carvalho as Portugal lost in the decisive match against Greece. In 14 years of international play, Couto gained 110 caps.[5]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Porto
Parma
Barcelona
Lazio

Country[edit]

Statistics[edit]

[6][7]

Club[edit]

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Portugal League Taça de Portugal Taça da Liga Europe Total
1987–88 Porto Primeira Liga 1 0 0 0 1 0
1988–89 Famalicão Portuguese Second Division
1989–90 Académica Liga de Honra
1990–91 Porto Primeira Liga 25 3 4 0 29 3
1991–92 32 2 4 0 36 2
1992–93 26 4 7 2 33 6
1993–94 23 1 9 0 32 1
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1994–95 Parma Serie A 27 4 2 0 8 1 37 5
1995–96 12 0 0 0 2 0 14 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
1996–97 Barcelona La Liga 26 0 5 1 4 1 35 2
1997–98 18 0 2 0 51 0 25 0
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1998–99 Lazio Serie A 22 2 5 0 8 0 35 2
1999–00 14 0 5 0 7 0 26 0
2000–01 18 0 4 0 8 0 30 0
2001–02 29 1 2 0 4 0 35 1
2002–03 15 0 4 0 12 1 31 1
2003–04 23 3 4 1 41 0 31 4
2004–05 24 3 0 0 3 0 27 3
2005–06 Parma Serie A 23 0 1 0 24 0
2006–07 23 1 1 0 2 0 26 2
2007–08 17 0 1 0 18 0
Total Portugal 107 10 24 2 131 12
Spain 44 0 7 1 9 1 60 2
Italy 247 14 29 1 58 2 334 17
Career total 398 24 36 2 —— 91 5 525 31

1Includes one Champions League qualification match.

International[edit]