Diego Costa, who rejoined former club Atletico Madrid after a months-long battle with Chelsea, embraced the positive outcome to what had been an arduous process.
Chelsea, where the striker spent three seasons, agreed Thursday with Atletico on the terms of Costa’s return to the La Liga club, reports Efe.
“Very pleased. I think it has taken too long, but I’ve had a happy ending. Now, I am looking forward to seeing my teammates and starting to train,” Costa said at Madrid’s international airport on Friday after arriving aboard a flight from Sao Paulo.
The Brazilian-born Spaniard acknowledged that he grew “a little nervous” as time passed without an agreement between Chelsea and Atleti.
“Miguel (Angel Gil Marin, Atletico’s CEO) made a great effort and I am very grateful for that, both to him and the club. I am very pleased by this effort and I will try somehow to thank (the club),” Costa said.
“We all know that I wanted to come back, but I won’t be ungrateful to Chelsea, where I was also happy and it is also a very big club, but Atleti is my home and here I am,” he added.
Costa said he still felt “special affection” for Chelsea, where he won two Premier League titles.
“One person (Chelsea coach Antonio Conte) will not spoil the image and what I did there. They know the person I am and they also made things easier,” said Costa, who cannot play with Atletico in competition until January.
Conte reportedly told Costa at the end of last season that he no longer saw a role for the striker in the squad.
Costa will devote the next three months to regaining his form after not playing for 103 days.
“Physically, I am normal, after three months without playing, training a little. I am not in as bad shape as some people said,” he said.