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Diego Costa: 'My self-control is getting better'

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

The story goes that while Diego Costa was collecting frequent flyer miles in making a frivolous trip to Spain just to get his already-diagnosed hamstring injury diagnosed by the national team's doctors as well, he "dropped by" the offices of Marca for an interview.  At least that's what the Madrid newspaper claims, though it sounds a bit strange that the player would simply drop by the newsroom for a quick sit-down out of nowhere.  But maybe he was just bored on a Monday afternoon, and couldn't think of anything better to do.  Or perhaps he was enticed by false promises of fresh supplies of horse placenta.  In any case, here's what he had to say.

"My story with the Spanish national team hasn't started yet. I haven't done anything yet. I'm sorry not to be able to contribute what I wanted to. Something always happens to me when Spain matches are coming up. I'm raring to succeed with Spain."

As much as I'm glad that Costa gets a two-week break to rehab his latest hamstring twinge, I do feel for him since he's yet to truly make a positive impact for his adopted country.  And he clearly wants to make a positive impact for them.  But it hasn't really gone according to plan at all.  Following a lackluster, injury-affected World Cup, the mistrust that has developed between Chelsea and Spain also isn't helping.  Del Bosque's intimations earlier this season that Costa (and maybe Fabregas, too) perhaps lack a bit of motivation or commitment when it comes to the national shirt probably didn't sit too well either.  Of course these aren't problems that couldn't be solved by scoring a few goals, but you can't score goals if you don't play and you can't play if you're injured.  Thus the frustration.

"I don't think [the Premier League is] overrated. It's a tough league with some great teams in it. The smaller sides can beat you. Maybe the Christmas exertions have taken their toll; we played three matches in seven days. It's no excuse though. I'm sure next season we'll go further in the Champions League."

"I take a beating constantly, just like in Spain. But I'm not complaining. They go in hard, but also you don't get the free-kicks you do in Spain. Sometimes defenders try to target me and put me off my game, but my self-control is getting better and I just try to do my thing."

Good ... goooood!  We all know the power of the dark side of the force.  But if you can learn to control it, nothing will stop you!  Nothing!

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