Diego Costa may have been forced out of Chelsea after having a row with manager Antonio Conte, but the Spanish forward has declared in an open letter to Blues fans that he doesn’t hold any grudges and will look back upon his time in the English capital with utmost fondness.
Há ciclos que se abrem e ciclos que se fecham. O meu ciclo no Chelsea iniciou-se há três anos, três anos marcantes em todos os aspetos, e que jamais esquecerei. Dois títulos de campeão, uma Supertaça Inglesa, 120 jogos, 59 golos e 24 assistências depois este ciclo encerra. Não da forma que desejava (longe disso), mas da forma possível. Na memória e no coração ficarão para sempre os maravilhosos adeptos de um grande clube e todos os companheiros com quem partilhei o balneário, bem como todo o staff logístico, administrativo e clínico. Levo-os comigo com a certeza de que sempre irei estar ao seu lado da mesma forma que, acredito, eles entenderão a razão pela qual este meu ciclo teve de chegar agora ao fim. Porque não podia perder a crença em mim. Obrigada por tudo Chelsea. — Some cycles begin while others end. My cycle at Chelsea began three years ago – three remarkable years in all aspects – and I will never forget it. Two championship titles, a Community Shield, 120 matches, 59 goals and 24 assists later this cycle has ended. Not the way I would have wanted – far from it – but the best way possible. The wonderful fans of such equally admirable club and all team mates, as well as all clinical, administrative and logistics staff will remain forever in my mind and in my heart. Will bring them with me with the certainty that I will always be by their side as well, and I’m sure they will understand the reason why this cycle of mine has now ended – because I could not lose faith in myself. Thank you Chelsea for everything!
Costa, who signed for Chelsea from Atletico Madrid three years ago, on Tuesday completed a reported €55 million move back to the Rojiblancos. The Spanish side, because of a FIFA embargo on registering new players, will not be able to utilise the 28-year-old till January 1.
After the turn of the year, the Brazil-born Costa will join the club on a loan for the remainder of the season before completing a permanent move for aforementioned fee in the summer.
However, Costa and the rest of his teammates severely underperformed in the next season, which saw then-manager Jose Mourinho get the sack as the Blues finished a lowly 10th.
Antonio Conte arrived last summer on the back of an impressive showing with the Italian national side at Euro 2016 and after a rocky start, transformed the Londoners into a ruthless machine that churned out win after win.
Costa was key to their title-charge but a bid by Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian FC turned his head in January and the Spaniard insisted on being sold, but Conte stood firm and refused to let the striker go in the winter transfer window.
After the season finished, which saw Chelsea clinch their second league title in three years, reports filtered in that Conte had told Costa his career at Chelsea was effectively over. And the Italian tactician’s pursuit of Alvaro Morata (bought for a club-record fee of £60 million) only stoked the fire.
Even as his club teammates reported for pre-season training in July, Costa remained in self-imposed exile in Brazil as his representatives attempted to thrash out a move abroad. But, Atletico’s transfer embargo put Costa’s departure in doubt and the transfer deadline went by without any progress.
Costa, however, was not to be denied the move back to Atletico and in the end it seems Chelsea and the La Liga side were able to come to an agreement over the transfer fee.