Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa was back in the thick of things when he made an incredible return to Athletico Madrid and made his second debut yesterday night.
It was 18 minutes into the second half of Athletico’s 4-0 cup win over third tier side Lleida when their new number 18 trotted on followed by Griezman, the dynamic duo Diego Simeone. There are hopes this duo will earn the club trophies this season.
Right on cue, a full moon came out from behind the clouds over Lleida’s 12,000 stadium to welcome back the Athletico prodigal son Diego Costa.
It took him five minutes to score with almost his first touch and no sooner had he been mobbed by celebrating team-mates than he was being treated off the pitch.
He had sustained an injury to his right shin as he knocked into a defender in the area to convert from the edge of the six-yard box. Costa hobbled around the perimeter and after consultation with Simeone and Atletico’s fitness coach Oscar Ortega, he asked to be allowed to go back on.
It had been 221 days since he last walked off the field for Chelsea and it’s been a tough road back for the Brazilian who turned up in Madrid at the end of last September after three months spent in his home town of Lagarto in Brazil, in dispute with Chelsea.
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He arrived in Madrid eight kilos overweight and a grueling specially designed pre-season overseen by Ortega which even involved several boxing sessions in the Madrid gym owned by Fernando Torres.
Little surprise then that he delivered the knockout blow on his return to football. Although by the time he had made his entrance, Atletico Madrid had already taken a two goal lead with Diego Godin heading in Yannick Carrasco’s cross on 32 minutes and Torres doubling the advantage four minutes later.
Just like his career has always been marred with drama and chaos, this was not short of that as the Brazilian born got himself in a fight with the opponents.
Simeon will be hoping that Costa will add fire power to his attacking team despite having missed over 7 months of footballing action.
For many of the Athletico fans, it is great to see their once star player back in the stripes and ready to ramble in La Liga again to help the club go forward.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Programs Associate at the Uganda Child Cancer Foundation. He loves writing about sports, politics and news around the globe and Inspiring new young people!!