Who is Diego Costa?
Diego Costa is a Spanish footballer who plays for the Spanish national football team and for the club Atletico Madrid. Born and raised in Sagarto, a remote place in Brazil, he played a lot of street football as a kid without being aware that he could make a great career in the game. The remote location of his hometown being one of the main culprits, Diego’s football dreams seemed very distant before he arrived in Sao Paulo at the age of 16. There he joined a local football club and eventually rose to become one of the most talented footballers for his club Barcelona Ibiuna. Portugal’s Braga was one of the first clubs to have signed him on professionally in 2006 and after going through a few more clubs, the big break came to him in 2010 when Atletico Madrid approached him for a contract. Scoring 43 goals for Atletico in 94 appearances, he was finally approached by the major Premier League team Chelsea in 2014. In 2018, he re-joined Atletico Madrid. As for his national team, he has played for Brazil for sometime before he filed an official request to play for the Spanish team, which was accepted by FIFA.
Childhood & Early Life
Diego Costa was born on October 7, 1988, in Lagarto, Sergipe, Brazil, into a lower middle class family to Jose and Josiliede. His father Jose was an ardent football fan and he named his son after Diego Maradona, known as the greatest footballer in the world. Diego caught the immense love for football from his father and played in the streets all the time. Even though he was naturally good at it, he never quite dreamt of playing it professionally.
Family’s lacklustre financial status was one of the main culprits along with the very remote location that their house was situated in. Somehow, he had a little desire to learn to play football professionally which was evident with his attempts to join the local club Atletico Clube Lagartense. Upon a failed trial, Diego left his hometown and moved to Sao Paulo to live and work with his uncle.
The move was initiated by his parents who wanted to keep him away from the growing influence of local gangs and drug mafia. His uncle had some connections with a local football club named Barcelona Ibiuna and Diego got enrolled in it. It was his very first stint with professional football.
Diego was a poor young man who sometimes didn’t even have bus fare to make it to the club. He was bullied by some of his club mates which further had Diego leaving football to earn some more money by working in his uncle’s shop. His coach Paulo Moura somehow understood the passion and talent the young boy possessed and often picked him from his home.
As he turned 18 and his performance started gaining enough attention, Diego started to become popular among the local and international clubs. One among them was the Portuguese club SC Braga. Diego expressed his desire to play for the club but his parents asked him to join a local club Sao Caetano FC in Sao Paulo. Diego chose the former and the rest is history.
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In 2006, during his first season at Braga, Diego performed amazingly well, and got dubbed as ‘the new Kaka’, a popular Brazilian footballer. Loaned away to Penafiel, he further proved that his lack of experience wasn’t a hurdle at all and he drew significant interest from Atletico Madrid. In 2007, he was signed on by Atletico but before making him play a single game, he was loaned away to Braga, Celta and Albacete for the following three seasons.
In the beginning of 2009 season, Barcelona scouted him and wanted to make him a part of their reserve team, but Atletico refused to give him away as they mentioned that they had future plans with him. Diego however, wasn’t very happy about the pace that his career was approaching with and managed to compel his team to give him away to Real Valladolid in July 2009.
Atletico Madrid acquired him back in June 2010, but his beginning with the club was upto no good yet again. In 2010 UEFA Super Cup, he remained an unused player throughout the tournament. He further missed most of the 2011-12 season due to injury and the further next season was the same story more or less. During the UEFA Europa League, he was suspended for four matches due to violent behaviour on field.
As his team reached the Copa de Ray semi-finals, Diego scored 7 goals in 7 matches, proving his worth to the team management. He further scored his eighth goal in the final contest, which his team won. That way, he surpassed the highest scoring streak of Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for the opposite side Real Madrid.
The 2013-14 season saw him receiving interest from Liverpool and offered him three times the salary that he was getting at Atletico. But Diego remained loyal to Atletico and extended his contract with them until 2018, also doubling his salary. He further scored in crucial matches to make sure of his team’s entrance in the UEFA Champions League’s quarter finals, for the first time in 17 years. His team ended up winning the tournament for the first time since 1996 and Diego turned up as the third leading goal scorer with 27 league goals.
In July 2014, Chelsea confirmed signing him on for the next five years. He was off to a brilliant start and was named Player of the Month for August 2014. In March 2015, Chelsea won the League Cup, which was the first major trophy for Diego. In April, he was chosen as one of the two forwards in the PFA Team of the Year.
In November 2016, he became the first player to score 10 league goals in the ongoing season and in November 2016, he was named Player of the Month for his performance. Chelsea won the Premier League title yet again after losing it in the previous season and Diego emerged as the top scorer with 20 goals.
In June 2017 however, it was rumoured that Diego was to be removed from Chelsea. With several options in front of him, Diego finally decided to rejoin his previous club Atletico Madrid and the official announcement regarding the same was made in September 2017. During his latest stint with Atletico, Diego has scored 3 goals in 9 appearances that he has made so far.
In March 2013, he was invited to play for the national Brazilian team. A few months later, Royal Spanish Football Federation made an official request to acquire Diego for their national team and Diego also expressed his desire to play for Spain. Following this, he received a lot of flak from Brazilian fans and football federation. It was reported in the media that he did it only for money.
He was a part of Spanish side for 2014 World Cup and has since played for Spain in many international tournaments.
Diego Costa is known to have an extravagantly outgoing personality and is known to have several roaring affairs with many models.
He happens to be a highly emotional player and has been found guilty of inciting violence on the field on several occasions.
He has maintained very close ties with his family and often receives them himself whenever they visit him in Spain.