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Diego Costa explains his decision to reject Liverpool and extend Atletico stay

Clive Mason/Getty Images

During the summer of 2013, both Chelsea and Liverpool were linked to Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa ahead of his breakout season in Spain. While the striker had put up a goals/minutes ratio that was more than respectable over the past several seasons, hiding in the shadow of Falcao had allowed him to fly a bit under the radar.

As it turns out, Liverpool actually met his £21 million buyout clause that summer, which forced him to make a difficult decision between joining Brendan Rodgers' squad or extending his stay in La Liga with a pay raise and increased buyout. Fortunately for Chelsea, he chose the latter:

"I was close to leaving Atletico. Liverpool are a great team, but after fighting so hard and overcoming difficulties to get my place at Atletico, how could I leave?"

"I thought it was very important to keep growing with Atletico and to play there for many years."

Hilariously, 'many years' turned into just a single, very successful season with the Madrid side before Chelsea came calling the following summer. The decision to leave didn't seem quite as difficult at that point, did it, Diego?

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