Diego Costa’s six-month extended vacation is officially over as Chelsea’s leading goalscorer from the past three seasons has been unveiled as an Atlético Madrid player for the
second third! time in his career, joining first-timer Vitolo on the pitch at the Wanda Metropolitano in front of 25,000 fans who turned up on New Year’s Eve to watch the unveiling (and a training session afterwards).
Costa had been back in the Spanish capital for several months, training and getting back in shape after doing not much other than hang out in his hometown back in Brazil in the summer. After much personal and financial wrangling, Chelsea and Atlético struck a deal to return Costa to sender in late September. Costa’s Chelsea career was effectively ended with Conte’s now-famous “thanks for the seasono” text message after the FA Cup final loss, though Costa’s fate had been sealed many months prior already.
Costa, who was well-liked in the dressing room and (usually) by the fans as well, struck a diplomatic tone when asked about his time in London at his “unveiling”.
"Seriously, the supporters, the people at the club and my teammates helped me a lot. Chelsea is a great club and I only have good memories."
Costa joked about “learning English” at Chelsea, while also talking about the frustrations of having to watch from the sidelines while Atlético’s FIFA transfer ban slowly expired. But now he’s ready to make his impact felt, as Atléti look to finish a solid second in the league (behind runaway leaders Barcelona) and maybe make the most of dropping out the Champions League by winning the Europa League (they face FC Copenhagen in the round of 32). Costa will also look to challenge his Chelsea replacement for the Spain center forward job for next summer’s World Cup.
"I've been waiting for this moment for a long time. I just want to get in shape to play as soon as possible, I'm tired of training. You can tell I've already worked and prepared well to play, I'm here to help the team and score goals.
"Atleti are not in the Champions League now, but we are going to fight for what we have left. I need to play. As a bystander, I suffered more than as a player."
-Diego Costa; source: Marca
Best of luck, Diego. Thanks for all the seasonos, goalos, and title-os.