Leeds United F.C. History
Leeds United F.C. History : Foreword
1919-29 - The Twenties
1930-39 - The Thirties
1939-46 - The War Years
1947-49 - Post War Depression
1949-57 - The Reign of King John
1957-63 - From Charles to Revie
1961-75 - The Revie Years
1975-82 - The Downward Spiral
1982-88 - The Dark Years
1988-96 - The Wilko Years
1996-04 - The Rollercoaster Ride
2004-17 - Down Among The Deadmen
100 Greatest LUFC Players Ever
Greatest Leeds United Games
Players' Profiles
Managers' Profiles
Leeds City F.C. History
Leeds City F.C. Player and Manager Profiles
Leeds United/City Statistics
Leeds United/City Captains
Leeds United/City Friendlies and Other Games
Leeds United/City Reserves and Other Teams

Santos: Nuno Luís Costa (Nuno)

1998/1999 (Player Details)


Born: Setubal, Portugal: 20-04-1973

Debut: Nil

6'1" 13st 5lb (2002)

Santos started with Caldes in his native Portugal and after playing Junior football with them he graduated to the Under-nineteen team before turning professional at the start of the 1991-92 season. He then joined his home town team of Vitoria Setubal at the start of the 1992-93 season and spent that season there before being loaned to Clube Operario Desportivo for the following season of 1993-94 to gain experience which stood him in good stead when he returned to Vitoria, where he stayed until the end of the 1997-98 season, making forty-one starts and coming off the bench on one occasion. Although he spoke little English he came to Elland Road on a three month trial period to try to earn a contract as he was available on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling after his contract with Vitoria Setubal had expired. He was fortunate that his fellow Portuguese and ex-teammate Bruno Ribeiro was there to speak to and help as interpreter but unfortunate that he had competition from the incumbent Nigel Martyn and his deputy Mark Beeney and the fast rising Youth keeper Paul Robinson. After Mark Beeney was laid low by injury early in the season, it was the England Youth keeper who initially found himself on the bench in case of injury to Nigel Martyn. Santos was a typical 'foreign' keeper, who was very agile and provided the photographers with plenty of spectacular photographs as he went through his paces in training and with the Reserves. While Robinson was given his chance between the posts when Martyn was injured and could not play in the home fixture against Chelsea in late October 1998, it was Santos who was on the bench watching the future England keeper keep his first clean sheet for United. While Santos was given playing time in the Reserves so that United could assess his capabilities, Robinson continued as Martyn's deputy against Bradford City, in a home game in the League Cup, and at Derby County with Santos available from the bench but unused, on each occasion. However, Nigel Martyn recovered from injury for the UEFA Cup game at home to Roma and it was Robinson as his deputy until the end of the season, with just one more appearance for Robinson again with Santos as his unused deputy, in the home fixture with West Ham United, after Martyn had been injured at Old Trafford in the previous game. Santos did come through his trial period and obtained a contract until the end of the season but never made the bench again and played out the rest of the season as the occasional Reserves' goalkeeper as Robinson was given more playing time in the Reserves, with Santos watching from the bench. He faced the same dilemma as David Harvey, David Seaman, Henry Smith, Mark Beeney and later Danny Milosevic; that of a good goalkeeper destined to wait in the shadows as consistent, competent and mostly multi-International first choices were permanent fixtures in goal for United. His game did improve while he was with Leeds, learning to catch under pressure rather than punch but at the end of the season he returned to Portugal and joined Benfica. He stayed with the Lisbon club from 1999-2000 until the end of the 2002-03 season but found himself loaned out to Spanish club Badajoz and Portuguese club Santa Clara during the 2000-01 season and another Portuguese club Beira Mar in 2001-02, where he started twenty-four games and sat unused on the bench in another eight. He started seven games and won a Portuguese Division League medal with Santa Clara during his first stint with the team in 2000-01. A lack of first team games at Benfica saw him on his travels once more at the start of the 2003-04 season, when he returned to his hometown club for the following season, making thirteen starts and being unused on the bench for another twelve. He rejoined Santa Clara for the start of the 2004-05 season remaining there for three seasons, starting sixty-eight games, coming off the bench once and remaining unused on nine occasions until he left, in 2007, for Rochester Rhinos in the U.S.A. He only started two games for them before moving to Toronto FC in 2008 and then returning, without having started a first-team game, to Portugal at the start of the 2008-09 season with Gondomar SC. There he made nineteen starts and sat unused on the bench for a further eleven. He moved to FC Arouca at the start of the 2009-10 season, making nine starts but leaving at the end of that season. His travels next took him to Cyprus, where he joined Ethnikos Assias FC. Now aged forty-one he is listed by some statisticians as a member of the squad but has not added to the ten starts he made in the 2011-12 season.