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Life Before Wolves | Hélder Costa

Hélder Costa lit up Molineux when he arrived on loan in 2016 and his exciting past meant it was little surprise for the Wolves hierarchy.

The winger had already performed in La Liga and Ligue 1 prior to his Championship move and helped Monaco achieve Champions League football. Now a Premier League player, Costa discusses what life involved for him prior to his time in gold and black.

EMERGING TALENT - Benfica | 2004-2012

I was at Benfica for 12 years through the Academy and made a lot of friends like ‘Cav’ who is still with me now. Benfica made me grow as a man and a player, so I owe them everything. They have a really strong base, we used to live at the training ground and studied there, so they had the conditions to help us succeed. I didn’t play as many games I wished but it was good for me to grow.

BOYHOOD DREAM - Benfica vs Gil Vicente | 25th January 2014

I remember my debut well. I played for 15 minutes in a cup game and we ended up winning the competition, so it was a great time. I had one chance, but my right foot wasn’t very good. That’s why we work so hard for many years, to get that chance, and fortunately for me I did and I appreciate the love of the fans and the coach for believing in me.

TASTE OF SPAIN - Deportivo de La Coruña | 2015

I wasn’t that lucky in Spain. I was young and the club was facing a difficult time, we were fighting against relegation and when I got there I didn’t get many chances to play. However, I liked the time I was there, again I grew and learned from the experience and they helped me get to where I am today. Again, I was with ‘Cav’ and that helped me a lot because it was my first experience away from my family, so I was suffering a little bit. I was living in a house at first but then moved with ‘Cav’ and that was better.

BIG BREAK - Monaco | 2015/2016

Monaco was a very good experience. At the beginning I was injured and had surgery which put me out for three months, but after that things went good for me. I played a lot of games and we ended up finishing third and qualified for the Champions League. I played most games and enjoyed living there. The food was good, my team mates were friendly, and we had a lot of Portuguese players like Joao Moutinho, ‘Cav’ and Bernardo Silva so we had good friendships.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE - UEFA European Under-19 Championship | 2013

I wish we could have gone further because we lost on penalties in the semi-finals, but it was a good experience and I learned from it. I didn’t get a chance to take a penalty because we’d already lost. For the national team you play against the best of each country so you’re playing against top players and that’s good for development.

This article first appeared in the Wolves versus Burnley matchday programme, which is available around Molineux on matchdays for just £3.50, and also featured content with Willy Boly, Ryan Bennett and Carl Robinson. Back issues are available in the Molineux Megastore and online now.