Diego Costa is desperate to get his second spell at Atletico Madrid under way after finally being cleared for his LaLiga return.
Costa’s move back to Madrid was confirmed in September but, as the deal was agreed outside of the transfer window, he could not feature until the start of 2018 – tying in nicely with the lifting of Atletico’s FIFA-imposed registration ban.
With the new year only one day away, the striker was officially presented as an Atleti player on Sunday, along with fellow new boy Vitolo, who has been on loan at Las Palmas since agreeing a move from Sevilla.
Costa has not played competitively since June after being frozen out at Chelsea as he sought an Atletico return, and he is desperate to get back on the pitch and start scoring goals.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, I just want to get in shape to play as soon as possible. I’m tired of training. I want to play,” the 29-year-old said at his presentation.
We’ve missed that smile, @DiegoCosta. #AúpaAtleti #BienvenidoDiegoCosta pic.twitter.com/2Zt5NwnBKN
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) December 31, 2017
“Physically I am much better than when I arrived. That shows that I have worked and I have prepared well to play, I come here to help the team and score goals.”
His arrival will bolster Diego Simeone’s attacking options, Costa joining forwards Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Kevin Gameiro and Angel Correa in Atletico’s squad.
A partnership with Griezmann has got many excited, but Costa is confident he can play alongside any of Atleti’s strikers.
“I understand well with Torres, Griezmann, Gameiro and Correa,” he said.
“The people ahead of me are doing well. I will not get to be God anymore.
“There is a lot of competition, the forwards have scored many goals, the competition is good.”
64 – @diegocosta scored 64 goals in 135 matches in his previous stages for @atletienglish in all competitions (a goal every 144 min). Return pic.twitter.com/ytOcyKmpkY
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 31, 2017
And although his time at Stamford Bridge ended badly, Costa still looks back with fondness after winning two Premier League titles with Chelsea.
“The fans, the people and the team-mates helped me a lot. Chelsea is a great club,” he added.
“I have a special affection for them, I only have good memories.”