Hélder Costa

Hélder Wander Sousa de Azevedo e Costa (born 12 January 1994) is an Angolan professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Leeds United and the Angola national team.

Hélder Costa
Personal information
Full name Hélder Wander Sousa de Azevedo e Costa[1]
Date of birth (1994-01-12) 12 January 1994 (age 27)
Place of birth Luanda, Angola
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)[2]
Position(s) Winger
Club information
Current team
Leeds United
Number 17
Youth career
2004–2012 Benfica
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2017 Benfica B 72 (15)
2014–2017 Benfica 0 (0)
2015Deportivo La Coruña (loan) 6 (0)
2015–2016Monaco (loan) 25 (3)
2016–2017Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan) 35 (10)
2017–2020 Wolverhampton Wanderers 62 (6)
2019–2020Leeds United (loan) 40 (3)
2020– Leeds United 25 (4)
National team
2009 Portugal U16 11 (0)
2010 Portugal U17 18 (4)
2011 Portugal U18 14 (1)
2012–2013 Portugal U19 11 (4)
2014 Portugal U20 5 (3)
2014–2017 Portugal U21 1 (0)
2016 Portugal U23 1 (0)
2018 Portugal 1 (1)
2021– Angola 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:55, 25 April 2020 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10 June 2021

Formed at Benfica, with which he made a single Taça da Liga appearance, Costa spent most of his career abroad, including at Deportivo de La Coruña in La Liga and Monaco in Ligue 1. He also spent several years in England with Wolverhampton Wanderers and currently Leeds United, winning the EFL Championship with both. Costa has represented Portugal from under-16 all the way through to the senior side.

Club career


On 11 August 2012, Costa made his professional debut with Benfica B in a 2012–13 Segunda Liga match against Braga B where he played 72 minutes as a winger.[3]

His first professional goal came on 23 August 2013, in a 3–0 home win over Portimonense, one of eight that season including on 23 November in a 4–3 triumph against Oliveirense in which he was also sent off.[4]

On 25 January 2014, Costa debuted with Benfica in a 2013–14 Taça da Liga third round match against Gil Vicente, playing the final 13 minutes of the 1–0 win at the Estádio da Luz as a substitute for Miralem Sulejmani.[5] He played no further part in the tournament, which Benfica went on to win. On 5 November 2014, he scored a hat-trick in the Segunda Liga with Benfica B against Olhanense in a 5–1 home win.[6]

Costa came through the Benfica academy in the same age group as fellow future Portugal internationals Ivan Cavaleiro and Bernardo Silva.[7]

Deportivo (loan)

On 19 January 2015, Costa was loaned to La Liga's Deportivo de La Coruña until the end of the season.[8] He made six appearances for the Galicians, all from the substitutes' bench.

Monaco (loan)

On 10 July 2015, Costa joined Ligue 1 club Monaco on a one-year loan. He was signed alongside Benfica teammates Ivan Cavaleiro and Bernardo Silva.[9] Costa scored his first goal in a Ligue 1 match on 8 November, opening an eventual 3–1 loss away to Bordeaux.[10] He also provided the assist for Kylian Mbappé's first-ever league goal for Monaco in a 3–1 victory against Troyes on 26 February 2016, Mbappé becoming Monaco's youngest-ever league scorer in the process.[11]

Costa played 28 times and scored 5 goals in all competitions for Monaco during the 2015–16 season, facing competition out wide from the likes of Bernardo Silva, Thomas Lemar and Kylian Mbappé.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

On 29 July 2016, Costa moved on a season-long loan to EFL Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers,[12] for which he made his debut on 6 August as a substitute in a 2–2 draw at Rotherham United.[13] He scored his first goal for the club in a 2–1 EFL Cup win against Cambridge United on 23 August.[14] He scored his first league goal on 17 September in a 2–0 win against Newcastle United at St James' Park.[15] On 15 October, he scored in the Midlands derby in a 1–1 draw against Aston Villa at Villa Park.[16] Costa was also praised for his performance against Premier League side Liverpool in the FA Cup, with Wolves causing a shock 2–1 win at Anfield; Costa assisted on both Wolves goals.[17]

On 30 January 2017, Wolves purchased Costa outright for a £13 million transfer fee, at the time the highest-ever transfer fee paid by Wolves. Following payment, he signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with the club.[18] After scoring 12 goals and 8 assists in all competitions in his first season, at the annual end of season awards, he won the 2016–17 Wolves Player of the Season Award,[19] also receiving the Players' Player of the Year Award and winning Goal of the Season for a goal he scored against Cardiff City.[20]

On 22 November 2017, Costa scored his first goal of the 2017–18 season in a 4–1 win against Leeds United.[21] He received a winner's medal during the 2017–18 EFL Championship, contributing five goals and six assists in the league over the course of the season.[22]

Costa made his first Premier League appearance on 11 August 2018 in Wolves' opening match of the league season in a 2–2 draw against Everton.[23] On 28 August, in a 2–0 win in a EFL Cup match against Sheffield Wednesday, he scored his first goal of the season.[23] On 29 December, in a 3–1 win against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium, he scored his first Premier League goal.[24] In total during the 2018–19 season, Costa made 30 appearances for Wolves in all competitions as he helped the side to a seventh-place finish, sufficient for qualification to the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.[23]

Leeds United

On 3 July 2019, Costa joined Championship club Leeds United on loan for the 2019–20 season.[25] As part of the deal, Costa was to join Leeds outright in July 2020 on a four-year contract for an approximate £15 million transfer fee.[26][27] He was given the number 17 shirt, making him the first player since 2014 to wear it, after the shirt was brought out of retirement.[27][28] He made his debut on 4 August in Leeds' Championship opening day 3–1 victory against Bristol City.[29] He made his first start on 13 August in the EFL Cup against Salford City, contributing two assists.[30]

Costa scored his first goal for the club on 27 August in Leeds' EFL Cup match against Stoke City, the equaliser that sent the tie to a penalty shootout after a 2–2 draw in normal time, with him also scoring his penalty in the ensuing penalty shootout that Leeds lost 4–5. [31] On 30 November, in a 4–0 victory against Middlesbrough, he scored his first league goal.[32]

On 7 July 2020, Costa joined Leeds outright on a four-year contract.[33] Following the suspension of the professional football season in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in July 2020, Leeds earned promotion to the Premier League as EFL champions following the resumption of play in June 2020.[34]

Costa made his Premier League debut for Leeds in the first match of the season against reigning champions Liverpool on 12 September 2020, assisting Mateusz Klich's goal in a 4–3 defeat away from home[35][36] and scored a brace a week later in Leeds's first home league win of the season, a 4–3 victory over Fulham.[37] On 7 November, he scored an own goal in a 4–1 defeat to Crystal Palace.

Costa scored a consolation goal on 14 February 2021 against Arsenal at The Emirates, in which Leeds lost 4-2.[38]

International career

Born in Angola, Costa represented Portugal at international level. He played for Portugal at the 2013 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship,[39] and although he did not score in the team's run to the semi-finals, he was named in the Team of the Tournament.[40]

Costa also represented Portugal at the 2014 Toulon Tournament.[41]

Costa received his first call-up to the senior Portugal squad ahead of the UEFA Nations League fixtures in October 2018.[42] He made his senior international debut in a friendly against Scotland at Hampden Park on 14 October 2018 in a 3–1 win in which he scored the opening goal.[43] Portugal would go on to win the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League after defeating the Netherlands 1–0 in the final match. However, Costa was not named to the squad for the final nor semi-final.[44]

On 16 March 2021, Costa was called up to the Angola squad for upcoming matches in the Africa Cup of Nations. [45] He was eligible as he had only played in a friendly fixture for Portugal. Costa was in the squad for matches against Gambia and Gabon, but has yet to make an appearance for the country.

Style of play

Costa can play as a winger on either side of the pitch. He can also play as a forward. He is known for his skill, pace, trickery and creativity.[46]

Career statistics


As of match played 14 February 2021[2]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Total
Benfica B 2012–13 Segunda Liga 120120
2013–14 378378
2014–15 237237
Total 72157215
Benfica 2013–14 Primeira Liga 0000100010
Deportivo (loan) 2014–15 La Liga 6060
Monaco (loan) 2015–16 Ligue 1 253320000285
Wolverhampton Wanderers (loan) 2016–17 Championship 351031214012
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2017–18 Championship 3652010395
2018–19 Premier League 2514011302
Total 9616914210919
Leeds United (loan) 2019–20 Championship 403102100434
Leeds United 3100000031
2020–21 Premier League 143100000153
Total 577202100618
Career total 25641143730027747

International goals

Scores and results list Portugal's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Costa goal.[47]
List of international goals scored by Hélder Costa
1.14 October 2018Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland Scotland1–03–1Friendly



Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leeds United



  1. "2018/19 Premier League squads confirmed". Premier League. 3 September 2018. Retrieved 4 September 2018.
  2. Hélder Costa at Soccerway. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  3. "Benfica B 2–2 Braga B". lpfp.pt. LPFP. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  4. "Benfica B bate Oliveirense na abertura da 16.ª jornada" [Benfica B beat Oliveirense in the opening game of the 16th matchday] (in Portuguese). Diario de Notícias. 23 November 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  5. "Benfica – Gil Vicente (Fase 3 – jornada 3 Taça da Liga 2013–2014) – Liga Portugal". ligaportugal.pt (in Portuguese). LPFP. 25 January 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  6. "Segunda Liga – Jornada 14 – SL Benfica B vs SC Olhanense". Liga Portugal. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  7. "Life Before Wolves Hélder Costa". Wolves Official Site. 19 November 2018. Retrieved 13 July 2019.
  8. "Futebol: Hélder Costa emprestado ao Desportivo da Corunha" [Football: Hélder Costa loaned to Deportivo de La Coruña]. slbenfica.pt (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 19 January 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2015.
  9. "Hélder Costa cedido ao Mónaco" [Hélder Costa on loan to Monaco] (in Portuguese). S.L. Benfica. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
  10. "Revivez la victoire des Girondins qui ont bien réagi face à Monaco" [Relive the victory of the Girondins who reacted well against Monaco] (in French). 20 Minutes. 8 November 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  11. "Thierry Henry's Monaco Record Broken by 17-yr-old Mbappe". Sofa Score. 26 February 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2019.
  12. "Helder Costa: Wolves sign Benfica winger on season-long loan". BBC Sport. 29 July 2016.
  13. "Rotherham 2–2 Wolves". BBC Sport. 6 August 2016.
  14. "Wolves 2–1 Cambridge". BBC Sport. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  15. "Newcastle 0 Wolves 2". The Telegraph. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  16. "Kodjia and Costa trade penalties as Wolves spoil Bruce's Aston Villa bow". The Guardian. 15 October 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  17. "Liverpool 1 Wolves 2". BBC Sport. 28 January 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  18. "Helder Costa: Wolves sign on-loan Benfica winger for club-record fee". BBC Sport. 30 January 2017.
  19. "Helder Costa". Wolverhampton Wanderers. 6 June 2019.
  20. "Helder Costa named Wolves Player of the Year". Shropshire Star. 9 May 2017.
  21. "Wolves 4 Leeds 1". BBC Sport. 22 November 2017.
  22. "Wolves: Championship leaders promoted to Premier League after Fulham draw with Brentford". BBC Sport. 14 April 2018. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  23. "Helder Costa". Soccerbase. 30 June 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  24. "Tottenham 1–3 Wolves: Wolves stun high-flying Tottenham with three goals in final 18 minutes". BBC Sport. 29 December 2018. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  25. "LEEDS UNITED COMPLETE HELDER COSTA SIGNING". Leeds United Official Site. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  26. "Leeds sign Helder Costa from Wolves in deal set to cost £15million". The Mirror. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  27. "Helder Costa: Leeds United sign Wolves forward on loan before permanent move". BBC Sport. 3 July 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  28. "Massimo Cellino says Leeds "has no manager"". ITV. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  29. "Bristol City 1 Leeds 3". Leeds United. 4 August 2019. Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  30. "SALFORD CITY V LEEDS UNITED". Leeds United. 13 August 2019.
  31. "Leeds Vs Stoke". Sky Sports. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  32. "Leeds 4 Middlesbrough 0". Sky Sports. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  33. "Helder Costa: Wolves winger completes £16m Leeds move on four-year contract". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  34. "Championship: Leeds United promoted to Premier League after 16-year absence". BBC Sport. 17 July 2020. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  35. "Leeds United made a dramatic return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence as they produced a magnificent display only to lose to a late penalty in a thriller against champions Liverpool at Anfield". BBC. 12 September 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  36. "Liverpool 4 Leeds 3". BBC Sport. 12 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  37. Wilson, Paul (19 September 2020). "Leeds hold off spirited Fulham fightback after Hélder Costa double". Guardian Football. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  38. Brewin, John (14 February 2021). "Arsenal 4-2 Leeds United: Premier League - as it happened". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 February 2021.
  39. "Sub-19: Rui Silva substitui José Costa" [Sub-19: Rui Silva replaces José Costa] (in Portuguese). Record. 14 July 2013. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
  40. "Technical Report" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. pp. 18–19. Retrieved 11 April 2016.[permanent dead link]
  41. "Sub-20: Ilídio Vale convoca 20 para o Torneio de Toulon" (in Portuguese). Record. 13 May 2013. Archived from the original on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  42. "Fernando Santos divulga convocados" (in Portuguese). FPF. 4 October 2018.
  43. English, Tom (14 October 2018). "Portugal condemn Scotland to sixth defeat in eight matches". BBC Sport. Retrieved 14 October 2018.
  44. Shamoon Hafez (9 June 2019). "Nations League final". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 June 2019.
  45. "Helder Costa called up by African nation for March international games". www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2021.
  46. Dicken, Alex (29 June 2019). "'Best in the league' – Leeds United will love the Wolves verdict on Helder Costa". Birmingham Live. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  47. "Costa, Hélder". National Football Teams. Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  48. Anderson, John, ed. (2018). Football Yearbook 2018–2019. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 386–387. ISBN 978-1-4722-6106-9.
  49. "Leeds United promoted to Premier League as champions". Sky Sports. 18 July 2020. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  50. "Technical Report". Union of European Football Associations. pp. 18–19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 April 2016.