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Costa: Chelsea opportunity 'super-exciting'

Shaun Botterill

We haven't seen much of Diego Costa on the pitch recently (although Didier Drogba and Loic Remy have scored three goals in three games without him, which isn't too bad in terms of replacing the big man's production), so let's spend some metaphorical time with him off it instead. The Mail have an excerpt from his interview with Champions League Magazine, and it seems to give a key insight into the way the striker operates:

Chelsea is packed full of skilful players and if those of us up front become the first line of defence and help protect the rest of the team, then we are doing an important job.

Since I was a kid I've always had a fierce hunger for victory inside me. I've always hated losing. Defeat can be useful for you if - and only if - you draw important lessons from it. My hunger to win is one of my fundamental assets. If one day I lose that desire then I'll not be useful any more.

Source: Mail.

This is in many ways a fluff piece, but the bolded sentence is an important lesson, not just for football but for life in general. If you're going to lose (or, ahem, draw), the most vital thing you can possibly do is dissect why, over and over again, and use it to be both better motivated and better prepared in future. And this doesn't just apply to an overall match -- Costa, for example, is constantly engaged in miniature battles with opposing centre backs, and each time he tussles with them there's a winner and a loser. If he's constantly adapting as a result of those clashes, he's a much more dangerous player.

Ultimately this is the mindset I want in a footballer. Works hard, learns, hates losing. Some mended hamstrings and Costa would be just about perfect. And speaking of perfect, it's clear he's enjoying himself at the club:

I was extremely happy at Atletico and the last year when we achieved so much was the best year of my career as a footballer. However, you always try to improve your life. The opportunity to join this tremendously important club came and while Atleti is a great team, this was a different league, one I'd always wanted to try.

People always used to say that my game would fit the Premier League perfectly and so the opportunity to sign for an extremely famous club like Chelsea made me super-excited. I have to keep on working hard. I still have many years ahead of me in my career so I hope I will be able to play in another Champions League final - to have another opportunity to win this competition.

I like the Champions League bit. Hopefully that happens in a blue shirt ... and sooner, rather than later.

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