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Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa.jpg
0Full Name Alex Rodrigo
Dias da Costa
0Date of Birth 17 June 1982
0Place of Birth Niterói, Brazil
0Position Centre back
0Chelsea career 2004 - 2012
0Debut 19 August 2007
0Games (goals) 134 (10)
0Other clubs Santos
PSV (loan)
Paris Saint-Germain

Alex Rodrigo Dias da Costa, better known as Alex (born 17 June 1982 in Niterói), is a Brazilian international defender who played for Chelsea from 2007 until 2012. Providing a strong physical presence in the centre of defence, he was also known for his powerful long-range free kicks. Having been bought from Santos in 2004, he was loaned to Dutch team PSV Eindhoven where he won three Eredivisie titles before joining the Chelsea squad in the summer of 2007. He was part of the 2009-10 double winning side, having also won the FA Cup in 2009. Alex left Chelsea in January 2012 to join former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain.


Before Chelsea

Alex began his career with Brazilian club Santos, and made his first team debut in 2002. He was signed by Chelsea in 2004 on the recommendation of scout Piet de Visser, but because of potential problems in attaining a work permit he was loaned out to Dutch club PSV Eindhoven [1].

Though referred to as a loan by PSV and Alex himself [2] (and despite Chelsea paying the reported £5.7m transfer fee), Alex was registered as a PSV player, and Chelsea stated that the club merely had first refusal on any potential transfer, with a nominal buy-out clause in place.

He formally joined PSV in the 2004-05 season, helping the club win a domestic double of both the Dutch Eredivisie championship and Dutch Cup that year. In the UEFA Champions League, Alex played a key role in the PSV team that was eliminated in the semi-finals. Alex won two further Dutch league championships in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons, before joining Chelsea for the 2007-08 season.

Chelsea career


Alex was granted a work permit on 2 August 2007, and completed his transfer to Chelsea after agreeing personal terms and passing a medical, signing a three year deal, and adding to Chelsea's options at centre-back, along with team captain John Terry, Portuguese international Ricardo Carvalho, and Israeli international Tal Ben Haim.

On 14 August 2007, Alex was presented to the English media, in a press conference with manager José Mourinho, and was given shirt number 33. He made his debut on 19 August 2007 when he came on as a substitute for Florent Malouda against Liverpool in the 85th minute, with the teams tied at 1-1. He also played in the 2-0 defeat away at Aston Villa and the 4-0 victory over Hull City in the Carling Cup.

Alex scored his first goal for Chelsea on 20 October 2007, finding the net from a stunning free kick 30 yards out against Middlesbrough. He scored another goal from a free kick on 28 November 2007 in a Champions League game against Rosenborg. He then scored in Chelsea's 4-4 draw with Aston Villa, scoring his first goal at Stamford Bridge from an Andriy Shevchenko pass, taking his tally for the season to 3.


Alex enjoyed a long spell in the first team during the 2008-09 season. He was given his chance due to Ricardo Carvalho being injured for long periods of the campaign. He scored Chelsea's 1000th Premier League goal against Sunderland on 1 November 2008. Alex started every game for Chelsea under Guus Hiddink, who managed Alex at PSV, and also scored in an FA Cup quarter-final tie against Coventry City.

Alex celebrating with Michael Ballack after his equalising free kick against Liverpool in the 2008-09 Champions League Quarter Final.
In the 2009 Champions League quarter-finals second leg at Stamford Bridge against Liverpool, Alex scored a sensational swerving freekick from 30 yards to level the score at 2-2. The game eventually ended 4-4 and Chelsea won 7-5 on aggregate, earning Chelsea a semi-final tie against Barcelona. The first-leg at Camp Nou ended goalless and in the second leg at Stamford Bridge, Alex played the full match. Chelsea were leading 1-0 up until the 93rd minute when Barcelona scored a dramatic, last-minute goal to draw the game 1-1 and Chelsea went out on away-goals. On 10 May, Alex scored the opening goal in Chelsea's 4-1 Premier League win over Arsenal; a header from a Didier Drogba free-kick. Alex went on to appear in the 2009 FA Cup Final, playing the whole match, and picking up the first major honour of his Chelsea career.


Having appeared in Chelsea's pre-season tour of the U.S.A., Alex missed the start of the 2009-10 season due to a groin injury. On 13 October 2009, Alex signed a new four-year contract with Chelsea, keeping him at Stamford Bridge until the summer of 2013 [3].

Alex started his first game of the season in a Carling Cup match against Bolton Wanderers on 28 October 2009, playing the full 90 minutes. On Saturday 13 March 2010 he scored his only goal of the season at Stamford Bridge, giving Chelsea the lead in a 4-1 league win over West Ham United. Alex made 25 appearances in all competitions over the course of the season, including a second consecutive start in the FA Cup Final, helping Chelsea to the first double in the club's history.


Following Ricardo Carvalho's departure to Real Madrid, Alex started the 2010-11 season as first choice centre back alongside John Terry. On 3 October 2010, he scored a spectacular 25 yard free kick in a 2-0 victory over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge, but sustained a thigh injury late in the match that would eventually rule him out for three weeks. Alex would suffer further injury problems a short time later, requiring surgery on his knee that would rule him out for eight weeks. [4]

Alex's injury had exposed Chelsea's lack of depth in central defence since Carvalho's departure, and David Luiz was signed in the January transfer window, immediately establishing himself in the first team and taking Alex's place in the side. Alex had to wait until May to replace his compatriot, coming on as a substitute at half time against Manchester United following a David Luiz mistake in the first minute of the game that led to Chelsea conceding. Alex then started the remaining two matches of the season, scoring in the penultimate match against Newcastle United.


Alex made just 9 appearances in the 2011-12 season, having fallen out of favour under new manager André Villas-Boas. He appeared in all three League Cup matches, but made just three league starts, in addition to three substitute appearances in the UEFA Champions League. His last game for Chelsea came in late November, and he handed in a transfer request a short time later, along with team mate Nicolas Anelka. [5] Both players would leave the club in January.

With a move to QPR having reportedly fallen through [6], on 27 January Alex signed for Paris Saint-Germain for a fee of £4.2m, rejoining former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti. [7]

After Chelsea

Paris Saint-Germain finished the 2011-12 season trophyless, but secured the Ligue 1 title the following season, with Ancelotti later leaving to join Real Madrid.

Alex faced Chelsea for the first time in 2014, the two sides meeting in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The Brazilian played the full 90 minutes in both matches but endured an unhappy return to Stamford Bridge as his side were beaten 2-0 and went out on away goals. At the end of the 2013-14 season he joined AC Milan on a free transfer, upon the expiry of his contract at PSG.


Alex made his debut for Brazil on 17 July 2003 against Mexico in the 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Although he was a member of the Brazil U-23 team that represented Brazil at the tournament, it was a full international tournament, hence the international cap gained was fully recognized by FIFA.

He was overlooked for the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad. However, after the World Cup, he earned regular call-ups with the new head coach, Dunga. He was a member of the Brazil squad that won the Copa América 2007 with a 3-0 victory over arch-rivals Argentina in the final. He missed out on a place in the Brazilian squad for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup due to injuries. On 11 May 2010, he was called up to 2010 FIFA World Cup squad as one of seven backup players but didn't appear in the tournament.


Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2007-08 28 2 2 0 3 0 6 1 0 0 39 3
2008-09 24 2 6 1 2 0 9 1 0 0 41 4
2009-10 16 1 6 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 25 1
2010-11 15 2 0 0 1 0 4 0 0 0 20 2
2011-12 3 0 0 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 9 0
Total 86 7 14 1 10 0 24 2 0 0 134 10


# Season Date Year Competition Opponent Score Result Venue
12007-0820 October2007Premier LeagueMiddlesbrough2-02-0Riverside
22007-0828 November2007Champions LeagueRosenborg3-04-0Lerkendal Stadion
32007-0826 December2007Premier LeagueAston Villa3-24-4Stamford Bridge
42008-0901 November2008Premier LeagueSunderland1-05-0Stamford Bridge
52008-0907 March2009FA CupCoventry City2-02-0Ricoh Arena
62008-0914 April2009Champions LeagueLiverpool2-24-4Stamford Bridge
72008-0910 May2009Premier LeagueArsenal1-04-1Emirates Stadium
82009-1013 March2010Premier LeagueWest Ham United1-04-1Stamford Bridge
92010-1103 October2010Premier LeagueArsenal2-02-0Stamford Bridge
102010-1115 May2011Premier LeagueNewcastle United2-12-2Stamford Bridge

Career honours




Paris Saint-Germain


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