|Full name||Paulo Sérgio Cardoso da Costa|
|Date of birth||5 December 1979|
|Place of birth||Moita, Portugal|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10+1⁄2 in)|
|2002–2003||→ Venezia (loan)||20||(0)|
|2003–2004||→ Bordeaux (loan)||16||(0)|
|2004–2005||→ Gil Vicente (loan)||17||(0)|
|2009||→ APOEL (loan)||5||(2)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals|
After playing professionally in Portugal, Italy, France and Greece, he finally moved to Cyprus in his mid-20s, spending his remaining career there.
Born in Moita, Setúbal District, Costa began playing as a senior at Sporting Clube Lourinhanense, Sporting Clube de Portugal's farm team. In 1999 he joined F.C. Alverca, rejoining another youth product of the Primeira Liga powerhouse, Marco Caneira.
In June 2000, both Costa and Caneira signed with Inter Milan, who bought the pair in a co-ownership deal with Reggina Calcio. Costa was sold for €2 million and, in June 2001, Reggina acquired him outright for €1,3 million and Inter bought back Caneira for an undisclosed fee; however, in July Costa was bought back from Reggina for €1,6 million and, in a continuing series of unassuming loans, then played with FC Porto (which also acquired 50% registration rights for €1,5 million), A.C. Venezia and FC Girondins de Bordeaux, rejoining former teammate Caneira in the latter (with the first and third clubs, he was often demoted to the reserves); he returned to Portugal for the 2004–05 season, joining Gil Vicente FC.
Costa joined Aris Thessaloniki F.C. from Greece in January 2006, with his new club starting the second division season in poor fashion but improving their game and results under Nikos Anastopoulos and eventually returning to the Superleague, with the player contributing with 13 games; the following campaign he scored a career-best seven goals, with Aris overachieving for a final fourth place as he formed a successful offensive partnership with Koke.
In August 2007, Costa started a Cypriot adventure, as many Portuguese players in that timeframe years, by joining Aris Limassol FC. On 3 January 2008 he signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with another side in the country, Anorthosis Famagusta FC.
On 28 December 2008, continuing in Cyprus, Costa signed a six-month contract with APOEL FC, but had it mutually rescinded on 13 March of the following year. In August 2009 he returned to Greece and penned a two-year deal with Levadiakos FC, leaving the club in January 2010 and moving back to Cyprus, signing for one-and-a-half-years with domestic cup holders APOP Kinyras FC.
Costa moved to Ermis Aradippou for 2010–11, but was released shortly after. He finished the season with another team in the country, former club Aris Limassol, netting four goals as they returned to the top flight after one year.
- "Tre giovani Portoghesi in prestito" [Three Portuguese youngsters on loan] (in Italian). Inter Milan. 21 June 2000. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- FC Internazionale Milano SpA bilancio (financial report and accounts) on 30 June 2001, PDF purchased from Italian C.C.I.A.A. (in Italian)
- "Campagna trasferimenti" [Transfer campaign] (in Italian). Lega Calcio. 28 June 2001. Retrieved 30 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
- "Jugovic al Monaco, ripresi Paulo Costa e Caneira: ma potrebbero andare al Benfica" [Jugovic to Monaco, Paulo Costa and Caneira rebought: could go to Benfica] (in Italian). Inter Milan. 24 July 2001. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- FC Internazionale Milano SpA bilancio (financial report and accounts) on 30 June 2002, PDF purchased from Italian C.C.I.A.A. (in Italian)
- "Il giovane Paulo Costa ceduto in comproprieta' al Porto" [Youngster Paulo Costa moves to Porto in co-ownership] (in Italian). Inter Milan. 30 July 2001. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- "Bordeaux move for Costa". UEFA.com. 7 July 2003. Retrieved 10 August 2009.
- "Oferta pública de subscrição de 2.300.000 obrigações representativas do empréstimo obrigacionista "F.C.Porto – Futebol, SAD"" (PDF) (in Portuguese). FC Porto. 7 November 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 December 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
- "Le récapitulatif du mercato" [Transfer market summary]. L'Équipe (in French). 1 February 2006. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 15 July 2010.
- ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ [Announcement] (in Greek). APOEL FC. 13 March 2009. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2009.
- Τον Πάουλο Κόστα και τον Γιάννη Αλεξίου απέκτησε ο ΛΕΒΑΔΕΙΑΚΟΣ [Paulo Costa and John Alexiou joined Levadiakos] (in Greek). Levadiakos F.C. 11 August 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2009.