Costa deal completed
news Tue 31 Dec 2014
Chelsea Football Club is delighted to announce Diego Costa has today completed his transfer from Atletico Madrid by signing a five-year contract.
He will join up with the first team for our pre-season European training camp next week.
Since becoming a first-choice selection at Atletico, Costa has been one of the most consistent strikers in European football, with his goals and performances over the course of 2013/14 propelling his former club to a first La Liga title in 18 years and a place in the Champions League final.
Powerful and direct, the 25-year-old built a strong reputation in Spain as a fine finisher, particularly in one-on-one situations, and is capable of scoring goals with both his left and right foot while his physical nature also makes him a real threat in the air. His favoured position is as the central striker, with his ability to run in behind opposition defenders making him difficult to pick up.
Costa said: ‘I am very happy to sign for Chelsea. Everybody knows it is a big club in a very competitive league, and I am very excited to get started in England with a fantastic coach and team-mates. Having played against Chelsea last season I know the high quality of the squad I am joining.
‘I would like to thank everybody at Atletico who made me into the player I am, it was an incredible time for me, but now I am starting a new adventure and I hope to win many trophies with Chelsea.’
Born in Brazil, Costa’s professional career began at Portuguese club Braga in February 2006. A loan spell at Penafiel in the second division followed before he was sold to Atletico during the 2006/07 campaign. He was then immediately loaned back to Braga until the end of the season, where he scored his first goal for the club in a UEFA Cup win against Parma.
Over the course of the following two seasons, further loan spells with Celta Vigo and Albecete proved important periods in the player’s development as he gained regular first-team football and developed a ruthless streak in front of goal.
In the summer of 2009 Costa was sold to Real Valladolid, and while he enjoyed a fantastic start to his time with the Spanish club, scoring six goals in his first 12 games, the team were struggling and they ended the season relegated.
Ahead of the 2010/11 season a buy-back clause was triggered by Atletico, ensuring Costa returned to the Spanish capital. Both Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan, however, were ahead of him in the pecking order meaning breaking into the side was not going to be easy.
An injury to Aguero afforded Costa an opportunity and, after scoring the only goal of the game against Real Zaragoza, he went on to net in quick succession against Seville, Getafe and Rosenborg. Later in the season he scored his first hat-trick for the club in a 3-2 win at Osasuna.
Costa missed the first half of the 2011/12 campaign due to injury before spending the second half on loan at Rayo Vallecano, where he enjoyed a fruitful time in front of goal, scoring 10 times in 16 appearances.
The 2012/13 season was the one in which he genuinely established himself as a crucial part of Diego Simeone’s Atletico side. Regular starts ensured he was able to produce consistent performances and he ended the season with an impressive 20 goals.
Costa was a key figure in Atletico’s successful Spanish Cup campaign, scoring three goals over the course of a two-legged semi-final against Seville and also firing the equaliser as they came from behind to beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the final. He finished as the competition’s top scorer with eight goals.
In 2013/14 he again took his game to another level, with his goals inspiring Atletico to overcome Real Madrid and Barcelona to win the Spanish title.
An opening-day brace in a 3-1 win at Seville was an indication of what was to come, and Costa followed it up with another goal in their next game, a 5-0 win against Rayo Vallecano.
Four days after scoring both goals in a 2-1 win against Osasuna, he netted the only goal of the game as Atletico lay down a marker for the campaign with a 1-0 win against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
His influence wasn’t just restricted to La Liga and he scored four goals during the group stages of the Champions League. December was a particularly productive period as he netted five goals in a 10-day spell.
When the Champions League resumed in February, Costa scored the only goal of the game as Atletico won 1-0 away at AC Milan in their Round of 16 clash, as well as netting a brace in a comfortable 4-1 second-leg victory.
With Atletico by this time well placed to challenge for the La Liga title, he continued to shine domestically, scoring in four consecutive victories at the end of March, against Espanyol, Real Betis, Granada and Athletic Bilbao.
He then went on to score in consecutive matches against Getafe and Elche, before his final goal for the club against Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final second leg.
Atletico secured the Spanish title courtesy of a final-day draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou, although on a personal note it was a disappointing afternoon for Costa as he limped out of the game early on with the hamstring injury that would limit his participation in the all-Madrid Champions League final to just the opening few minutes.
He ended his time at Atletico having scored 64 goals in 134 appearances.
On the international stage, Costa made his debut for Brazil in a friendly against Italy in March 2013, coming off the bench to replace Fred in a 2-2 draw.
With the player granted Spanish citizenship in the summer of 2013, he declared he wanted to play for his adopted country. In February 2014, he was called up to the Spain squad for the first time and made his debut in a 1-0 win against Italy at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, home of Atletico.
He started Spain’s first two games at the World Cup and has six caps to his name.