In the 27th episode of “Ironias do Destino”, Pinto da Costa recalls winning the championship in 2007/2008 and the arrival of the Hulk to FC Porto, a transfer that at the time sparked the interest of national football.
Three-time champion in 2007/2008: “It was a very exciting tournament, Jesualdo’s second win in a row, we had a great team, a player who was the basis for many years in the successes of FC Porto, Hilton. Perhaps, no one gave him the merit and the value he gave. He deserved. He was the foundation of that great team. We have great players like Lucho, Lisandro, Quaresma… Good team, we won by 20 points, dedication was against Estrela da Amadora, win 6. 0. Many important players scored, it was a great performance in a great season FC Porto had a team Very good, they played good football, a year which I consider excellent for the quality of the team and the way they played.”
Hulk’s arrival at the club in the summer of 2008: “That year, we signed Hulk, who was an unknown player, but who played in Japan, I think in the third division. We managed to sign him under the influence of his manager. (…) We wanted to strengthen a team with a striker, but that was within our means which Not many. A businessman appeared, and [Juan] Viger that we introduced to the player. He guaranteed us the quality, we watched the videos and there was an intriguing aspect. He said the player knows Portugal, and can adapt because he played with Villanovense. It surprised me, because Villanovense, as a club with a history in Gaya, did not have a great football team and did not reach the highest levels. How could it be that the individual who was in Villanovense and was not arrested, since he was 17 years old at the time, would not have made everyone notice him? Nobody, neither from FC Porto nor from any other club, predicted what he could become.”
Hulk’s “promise” and its importance at FC Porto: “I remember Hulk saying that when he was at Vilanovense, he came to watch FC Porto matches with a guy from the club. At the age of 17, when he was playing for Vilanovense, he said, ‘I will play here in this stadium, in this club.’ Ironically, the truth is that Going to Japan, when I was no longer expecting to come back to Portugal, he had that opportunity, he won and he was a very important player in the great successes that we had and that he was present. He and Helton were the main keys to those successes. He was a player who left history, he was very attached to a team Porto and the fans. Everyone remembers him. He was one of those collectibles that I think hit the nail in the head.”