Helena Costa, the first female to be appointed as coach in any of Europe’s top two tiers

Helena Margarida dos Santos e Costa (born 15 April 1978) is a Portuguese football manager who has become the manager of French Ligue 2 club Clermont Foot at the end of the 2013–14 season, making history as the first female to be appointed as coach of a French professional club and also the
first in any of Europe’s top two tiers.
Costa has a Masters degree in sports science and a UEFA A Licence in coaching. From 1997 to 2010, she coached Benfica’s youth team, leading them to second place in the national championship in 2005.
At the same time, she managed lower league side Cheleirense, winning the Lisbon championship in 2006. She also managed women’s sides, winning two league titles with S.U. 1º Dezembro in 2007 and 2008, and taking Odivelas to promotion to the top flight as champions. From 2008 to 2011, she was a scout for Scottish club Celtic F.C. in Portugal and
Spain. Costa returned to Celtic as a scout for separate spells in 2012 and in 2013.
As an international manager, she managed Qatar’s women to their first ever victory (4–1 against the Maldives in 2012). On 22 October 2012 she was
appointed manager of Iran’s women but could not lead them to the 2015 World Cup.

France’s Women’s Minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, reacted to Costa’s appointment at Clermont Foot by writing “Congratulations to Clermont Foot for
understanding that giving a place to women is the future of professional football” on Twitter.
Costa was officially presented by Clermont Foot on 22 May 2014.

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