Leeds United's former Portugal international Helder Costa selected by Angola for Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers

Leeds United winger Helder Costa will begin a new international career later this month after being called up by Angola for their Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 1:53 pm
CALLED UP - Angola have named Leeds United winger Helder Costa in their squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. Pic: Getty

The former Wolves man was capped once by Portugal, in a 2018 friendly against Scotland, but has switched allegiance to the country of his birth. FIFA eligibility rules say that friendly match appearances do not commit a player to one country. He is one of only two English based players named in the squad. Birmingham's Jérémie Bela is the other.

Angola face both Gambia and Gabon away from home at the end of March in their final qualifying games for the Africa Cup of Nations. They currently sit bottom of their four-team qualifying group with one point from four games. Both Gambia and Gabon have seven points while Democratic Republic of the Congo sit third on six.

Angola triumphed over Gambia in the first round of World Cup qualifiers. The second round is a group stage with the top 26 ranked CAF teams joining the 14 first round winners in four-team round robin groups. The winners of each group will advance to the third round.

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In Angola's group are Egypt, Gabon and Libya and the games are scheduled to take place between the end of May and October later this year.

Their first and only World Cup finals appearance came in 2006.

Costa, 27, has started 10 of Leeds' Premier League games this season, after winning the second Championship title of his career.