Who is Diego Costa? The Brazilian-born Spain striker on his way to Chelsea for £32m
A closer look at the 25-year-old bound for Stamford Bridge
Diego Costa was born in Sergipe in Brazil on 7 October 1988, and began his career with Braga in Portugal. After a loan spell at second division Penafiel, he signed for Atletico Madrid for the first time in 2007, for a fee of €1.5m plus 50 per cent of the player’s rights.
Read more: Costa passes Chelsea medical
Costa was then loaned back to Braga and also had briefs spells at Celta Vigo and Albacete before moving permanently to Valladolid in July 2009. His time at Valladolid was less than successful; he scored only eight goals in 34 appearances for the Spaniards, who were relegated during his season at the club.
The striker was then bought again by Atletico Madrid in 2010, this time for a nominal fee. Costa, however, was far from prolific in his first season back at Madrid. He scored only six goals in 28 La Liga appearances in 2010/11. Another loan spell, this time to Rayo Vallecano followed for the next term.
It was last season, after the club’s main striker Radamel Falcao left to join Monaco, that Costa flourished at Madrid. Along the way to the club winning La Liga, he scored 27 goals in 35 league matches while also scoring eight on his club's way to the Champions League final.
While Costa will be playing for Spain at this summer’s World Cup, he has also played international football for Brazil, the country of his birth. Chelsea’s new signing played two matches for Brazil last year, before he stated his desire to represent Spain at international level. The Spanish FA made a request to Fifa for permission to call him up after he had been granted Spanish nationality. This was much to the dismay of Brazil’s coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, who said he had “turned his back on a dream of millions, to represent our national team, the five-time champions in a World Cup in Brazil”.
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