Video Spotlight - Andre Costa

LANGLEY, British Columbia - Whoever came up with the phrase Jack-of-all-trades, must have never met Andre Teixeira Costa.

Or maybe, in Brazil, the term is actually, and quite sensibly, Andre-of-all-trades.

Sound ridiculous? Well, clearly you haven’t met Costa either.

The 6-foot-3 freshman forward playing for the Trinity Western men’s soccer team, who hails from Ipatinga, Brazil, is a) good at soccer b) has a law degree c) is the lead singer in a band and d) is the type of confident jokester with a foreign accent that the girls just love.

“He keeps trying to swoop in on all the girls I’m trying to go after and with his singing abilities, he’s worrying me a little,” said Spartans teammate Goran “Gogo” Vitic with a bit, but just a bit, of a laugh. “He’s tall, he’s a good soccer player and he sings. My odds are not the greatest.”

But attracting girls aside, Costa is quite simply an impressive young man who happens to have a fancy array of talents and is just a quality individual.

“As a person, he’s a solid character,” said Spartans men’s soccer coach Pat Rohla. “He loves God. He’s a top end person. He loves the team. He loves the game, as most Brazilians do. He’s been a real treat and it’s good to have somebody with a different culture background in your group and it just adds to the dynamics of the group.

“Overall, he’s a fantastic team guy. He has a great sense of humour and he just loves to play [soccer].”

And it was that passion for playing the Jogo Bonito – Portuguese for Beautiful Game – that ultimately brought the Spartans their first ever Brazilian.

Well, in a roundabout way.

After graduating from a Brazilian university with an undergraduate degree in law, Costa set out to learn English with the hopes of eventually earning a PhD, possibly in Scotland.

He came to Vancouver to learn English in January 2010 and, after a month in Canada, he learned about Trinity Western’s ESL program and enrolled last February.

Rohla had no idea.

Naturally, he started playing intramural soccer and, shortly after teaming up with former TWU midfielder Mustafa Demirci, the Spartans alumnus quickly informed Rohla of the large man on campus. And why wouldn’t you give a tall Brazilian with good feet a shot?

“In the spring [of 2010], [Costa] came out and had a couple runs with us,” Rohla said. “Actually he flattened Rhys Volkenant in the first five minutes and we thought this guy has a bit of moxie. We just looked at “what if?” He was willing to do it and wanted to do some grad studies and it worked out.”

Costa went from taking ESL classes and playing intramurals to working towards a Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Humanities and starting for the Spartans.

“For a long time, I haven’t got this feeling of competition at this level,” Costa said. “I feel like it’s good for my body. It’s good for my mind and it’s good for my life experience.”

In the TWU home opener, he scored his first goal and since then he’s been a regular in the starting XI. Just don’t ask him to run too much.

“He definitely isn’t a fan of running,” Vitic said. “He came in and he looks a little bit awkwaterd. He’s such a big guy, you don’t expect him to be doing the moves that he does. But as soon as he steps on the ball, the magic happens and you’re taken back.”

And this season’s exploits could just be the beginning. After all, it has been a while since he’s laced the boots for high-level action.

The last time Costa participated in competitive soccer, he was playing youth soccer in one of Brazil’s top leagues and, like so many in his country, trying to turn pro.

But once he realized that, as Costa says, “it’s hard to make professional and like me, they have millions,“ Costa figured university was the wise option.

And it was at university where he quit competitive soccer, got his law degree and became the lead singer and guitarist in Periodo Letivo – roughly translated to semester or term – an up-and-coming alternative/jazz/rock Christian band in Brazil that even his Spartans teammates are impressed with.

“He’s pretty unreal,” Vitic said about Costa’s voice, only a couple days after the big Brazilian sang at Vitic’s family thanksgiving dinner. “I’m not going to give him too much credit because I think he boasts a little bit about it. But, yea, he’s pretty good.”

Pretty good indeed…at most things it seems.

In the classroom, Costa’s ultimate goal would be to teach law and the philosophy and theory of law. And you can bet he’d be pretty good at that too.

But that’s down the road.

For the next couple years, Andre plans to ply his many trades in Canada. That and get Gogo’s girls.


Last Updated: 2010-12-21
Author: Mark Janzen