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Diego Costa talks about the mentality required to be the Premier League’s best anti-hero

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“My mindset is always to be victorious”

Swansea City v Chelsea - Premier League Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Over the last two years, Chelsea striker Diego Costa has earned his place as the baddest bad boy at the baddest, most despised club in England. He makes sure to fuel the hate by drawing fouls, provoking scuffles, and most gleefully annoying of all, scoring lots of goals — we have to look no farther than Sunday’s two-goal performance against Swansea City.

Unfortunately, that game only ended in a draw, visibly frustrating Costa at the final whistle.

As legend has it, upon first showing up at Chelsea, Diego Costa turned to the rest of the dressing room and said “I go into battle; you come with me”.

"My mindset is always to be victorious, to win the match. When we go to the pitch, that’s all we want to do – we want to win – and when the game finishes, if you win, you go home happy."

"If I lose a game, it’s a different frame of mind when I finish the match – I go home and I feel upset. So you always have to know that you are going to leave everything on the pitch, every drop of sweat, to help the team win the game."

In his interview in the latest edition of Chelsea's official magazine, the striker also spoke about the work he puts in every game to help the team achieve the only thing that matters, victory.

"As a striker it’s important to score but the most important thing is that the team wins. The team is playing well at the moment. We’re finding our feet, finding our form and rediscovering ourselves, and it’s good that we’ve started well, playing good football."

"Sometimes, I don’t even make the runs for myself. I have to make runs to free my colleagues, so they can be in a better position to receive the ball. Also, I try to move a lot, I try not to stay static, because in the Premier League if you stay in one particular place, the defenders are very quick, very strong, and they can mark you out of the game easily."

"You just have to be prepared because in the Premier League you are not always going to have more than once chance to score. So, when it comes your way, you have to be ready to take that chance. If you’re not calm you know it might not come again."

-Diego Costa; source: Chelsea FC

Diego Costa is far from a lovable and wholesome character on the football pitch, but he’s a winner, he’s a fighter, and an active embodiment of many of head coach Antonio Conte’s finest qualities.

Sure, he is lightning rod of hate and media attention and weak refereeing decisions, but despite his complaints, we have a sneaky suspicion he not only enjoys, it’s exactly what makes him tick and makes him the right (anti-)hero to spearhead the Chelsea attack.