Diego Costa: Player Profile

Costa Taking the Premier League By Storm

Personal information 
Full name: Diego da Silva Costa
Date of birth: 7 October 1988
Age: 25
Place of birth: Lagarto, Brazil
Height: 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position: Striker

Club information 
Current team: Chelsea
Number: 19

Youth career 
2004–2006: Barcelona EC

Senior career 
2006-2007 Braga 10 Appearances, 1 goal
2006 → Penafiel (loan) 14 Appearances, 5 goals
2007–2008 → Celta (loan) 31 Appearances, 5 goals
2008–2009 → Albacete (loan) 36 Appearances, 9 goals
2009–2010 Valladolid 36 Appearances, 9 goals
2010–2014 Atletico Madrid 135 Appearances, 64 goals
2012 → Rayo Vallecano (loan) 16 Appearances, 10 goals
2014– Chelsea 2 Appearances, 2 goals

National team
2013 Brazil 2 Appearances, 0 goals
2014– Spain 4 Appearances, 0goals

Diego Costa is making his mark on the Premier League with Chelsea. He can't speak English yet, but he has already made his mark on Chelsea and on the Premier League, with two goals in two games.

Costa completed his transfer from Atletico Madrid on 15 July 2014 by signing a five-year contract. He marked his first appearance in the blue of Chelsea with a goal, Olimpija Ljubljana the opponents in a pre-season friendly.

All in all Costa netted four goals in pre-season including one particularly special individual strike against Fenerbahce, and he got his competitive Chelsea career off to a flyer too, with a goal on his Premier League debut away to Burnley and one at home against Leicester.

Since becoming a first-choice striker 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.

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 Sevilla, Getafe and Rosenborg.

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.

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.

He then went on to 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. Upon joining Chelsea, he was given the number 19 shirt vacated by the departure of Demba Ba.

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. For a goalscorer of his talent, it gives you some idea of the excellence that this monster of a centre-forward will bring to Chelsea’s attacking play.

Very similar in style to Didier Drogba, Costa is an “old-fashioned” centre-forward, and he's certainly one whose skill set is ideally suited to the roughhouse tactics of the Premier League. As he showed during the Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge, Costa is no pushover, and brute strength and physicality form a large part of his game.

The naturalised Spaniard often plays the game right on the very edge and as such, is never too far away from a yellow card. However, Diego Costa is no bully boy. There is much more to his game than that. Costa can work equally well with his back to goal and feeding the wide players.

Aerially dominant, there is barely a weakness to his all-round game, save for a propensity to involve himself in mischief—something that Jose Mourinho won’t necessarily want to take away. It’s completely fair to suggest that his arrival will galvanize a squad in mourning and provide the impetus to go one better than this season and secure some much-needed silverware.