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  • Writer's pictureSimon Basten

Fernando Couto

When one thinks of Fernando Couto one does really contemplate him as a player who has won numerous trophies but a look at his CV shows that during his career he has won:

Source Wikipedia
  • Scudetto (Lazio 1999-00)

  • Liga (Barcelona 1997-98)

  • 3 Primeira Liga (Porto 1987-88, 1991-92, 1992-93)

  • 2 Coppa Italia (Lazio 1999-00, 2003-04)

  • 2 Copa del Rey (Barcelona 1996-97, 1997-98)

  • 2 Taca de Portugal (1990-91, 1993-94)

  • 2 Supercoppa (Lazio 1998, 2000)

  • 1 Supercopa de España (Barcelona 1996)

  • 3 Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira (Porto 1991, 1993, 1994)

  • 2 Cup Winners Cup (Barcelona 1996-97, Lazio 1998-99)

  • UEFA Cup (Parma 1994-95)

  • 3 UEFA Super Cup (Porto 1987, Barcelona 1997, Lazio 1999)

  • Intercontinental Cup (Porto 1987)

  • Under 20 World Cup (Portugal 1989)

That is a lot of silverware!!! He basically only missed out on the Champions League/European Cup where he reached the semi-final in 1993-94.


Fernando Manuel Silva Couto, better known as Fernando Couto, was born in Espinho on August 2 1969. He joined the Porto youth sector at the age of 17 and debuted professionally on June 2 1988 against Academia de Coimbra. He was then loaned for a couple of seasons to gain experience to Famalicao and Academia. In 1990 he returned to Porto and stayed until 1994 with 131 appearances and 13 goals.


In 1994 he signed for Parma in Serie A and played in Emilia Romagna for a couple of seasons. In 1996 he joined Barcelona and played in the Spanish Liga for two years. He became very friendly with Ivan de la Pena so when Lazio started enquiring if the Little Buddah wanted to come to play for Lazio, he demanded that Couto too should join the Biancocelesti. President Sergio Cragnotti agreed.


With Lazio he played seven seasons (de la Pena just one!) playing alongside Alessandro Nesta, Sinisa Mihajlovic and Jaap Stam. He was a bit crazy when he lost his patience. Sergio Conceicao suffered a very severe tackle in training and the two literally fought. Roberto Mancini tried to calm everybody down but the Portuguese put his hands around Mancio's throat. A difficult situation for Sven-Goran Eriksson. In 2000 another big argument between him and Diego Simeone got everybody running into the changing rooms to try to calm the two down.


But he was a fan favourite and lethal with his forays into the penalty box when there were corners and free kicks. He scored 11 goals for Lazio, mostly headers. He was also a bad boy on the pitch (18 red cards in career). “The meanest defence pair were Couto-Mihajlovic. Ball or leg, it did not matter”, said former Juventus centre-forward David Trezeguet. One can only imagine what a poor forward had to go through when face to face with Couto, Mihajlovic and Stam.


At the end of his contract in 2004 Couto could have left Lazio to get a higher salary. The club was in deep financial distress and could not afford the salary he was getting. But he stayed on one more year, accepting €450 thousand instead of € 4 million. Lazio managed to avoid relegation thanks also to his experience.


In 2005 Lazio however did not renew his contract looking for younger players (he was 36!!!). He moved back to Parma and played another three years before retiring. By the end of his career he had 563 appearances and 37 goals.


At Lazio he played 217 times (145 in Serie A, 24 in Coppa Italia, 23 in Champions League, 8 in the Cup Winners Cup, 15 in the UEFA Cup and 2 Super Coppa finals) with 11 goals.


Couto’s first game for Portugal took place in 1990, his last in 2004. In total he has 110 caps with 8 goals. He participated in Euro 1996, 200 and 2004 and the World Cup of 2002. In 1989 he participated in the Under 20 World Cup which Portugal won. He was part of the Golden generation of Portuguese football.


When Couto retired he began to work for the Portuguese Federation. In 2010 he became Sports Director for Braga.


Fernando Couto is a much-loved player at Lazio and the fans still have very fond memories of him.


Lazio Career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

Cup Winners Cup

UEFA Cup

Super Coppa

1998-99

36 (2)

22 (2)

5

-

8

-

1

1999-00

26

14

5

7

-

-

-

2000-01

30

18

4

8

-

-

-

2001-02

35 (1)

29 (1)

2

4

-

-

-

2002-03

31 (1)

15

4

-

-

12 (1)

-

2003-04

31 (4)

23 (3)

4 (1)

4

-

-

-

2004-05

28 (3)

24 (3)

-

-

-

3

1

Total

217 (11)

145 (9)

24 (1)

23

8

15 (1)

2

Sources


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