Diego Costa, the former Chelsea and Atletico striker, is now an almost forgotten figure and looking for a team as a free agent.
The Spaniard has had his contract terminated at Atletico Madrid last year and been serving as a free agent.
The 32-year-old had his fair share of ups and downs in his career, but his most notorious spell was with the Premier League giants Chelsea between 2014 and 2017.
Costa was remembered for his good – a beast of a striker when it comes to goals – and flawed – the combative nature on the field – during his stint at Stamford Bridge.
However, the former Brazilian star might be regretting the exit from the Blues as he could have brought more success to his career had he stayed there long.
Costa was bought under the behest of Jose Mourinho, and he was off to a flyer in his debut season, scoring 20 goals in his debut season.
But it didn’t take long for him to get the spotlight for often showing his malicious nature against the opponents, which saw him getting suspensions as a consequence.
Antonio Conte succeeded Mourinho in 2016, and little did Costa know that the Italian gaffer was forever going to change his career.
In Conte’s first season, the Spanish striker proved to be pivotal in the attack, scoring the excess of 20 goals but his derailment starter after that.
Despite enjoying much success with the Blues – two Premier League titles and one Football League cup, Costa had the never-ending desire of leaving the club to return to Atletico Madrid. He made several attempts to force a move away from Stamford Bridge, constantly contacting his agent Jorge Mendes to facilitate his return to La Liga.
Conte had become weary of the situation, and Costa’s spat with fitness coach Julio Tous during a training session marked the start of Costa’s decline.
The Italian manager soon informed the striker through text message that he is not part of his plans and requested him to find a new club soon. It cannot be confirmed that if it was part of Conte’s mind game or he actually wanted him out.
But the former Los Rojiblancos took a stand by showing his intention to play out his contract, as he skipped the pre-season trainings and spent his time in Brazil.
Despite all the chaos, the Blues eventually sold Costa to his previous club Atletico. He had three average seasons, and he lost his place in starting eleven after Suarez’s arrival.
Costa expressed his regret on leaving the Londoners, but he held Conte responsible for the consequences and took aim at the Italian.
“It was a very bad moment, but it wasn’t my fault.”
“People said things, but time puts everything in its place. Look where the coach is. Look at Conte.”
Costa also criticised Conte for not being straightforward like Simeone: “I was wrong going to Chelsea, because of their way of dealing with things. Cholo [Simeone] is a direct coach, and when he doesn’t love you, it’s clear, and he shows it.”
But the Italian manager was diplomatic in his reply, saying that Costa needs recognition for his achievement but emphasised the player’s multiple attempts to leave the Londoners.
“It’s right always to keep good memories, and I prefer to keep good memories also about Diego Costa because we won together a league title in an incredible season,”
“For sure, the truth, we know the truth: the player, his agent, the club and I.
“We know how many times he asked to go away to Atletico Madrid at the start of the season, during the season to go to China, and at the end of the season to join, again, Atletico Madrid.
“This is the truth, and, honestly, in my career, I want to have players who are concentrated on my team and not to consider my team a second choice. My team must be the first choice.”
Costa’s uncontrollable temper on the field proved detrimental, and if he had been a ground-to-earth player, Conte would have taken him to new heights.