Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has said that joining Chelsea in 2014 was a mistake.
The Spain international was recruited by then Blues manager Jose Mourinho for a fee in the region of £32m shortly after the World Cup in Brazil and went on to play a key role in bringing the Premier League title back to Stamford Bridge.
He netted 20 goals in just 26 appearances in the top flight of English football that season – including strikes against Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur – weighing in with a further three assists in the process.
It was more of a struggle in the following campaign as he hit 16 goals across all competitions under two different managers.
Guus Hiddink had replaced Mourinho midway through the campaign before Antonio Conte was appointed on a permanent basis following Euro 2016.
Despite winning another league title with the Blues, Costa’s relationship with the Italian tactician deteriorated that season and was told he wasn’t in the former Juventus boss’ plans for the 2017/2018 campaign.
As a result, Costa returned to Atletico back in January and has now admitted that he shouldn’t have left in the first place.
“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,” he said to Marca . “I was wrong going to Chelsea, because of their way of dealing with things.
“Cholo [Atletico coach Diego Simeone] is a direct coach, and when he doesn’t love you, it’s clear and he shows it.
“At Chelsea it was the opposite. I had the option of returning to Atleti and when Chelsea told me to go back to training with the reserves, I was clear that I was going back to Atletico, even though there were other offers.
“If not, I would’ve stayed in Brazil with my family. I had to live my whole life with my family. I have other values that no money can buy.”
Back in Spain and a regular in the Atleti side.
He haunted Arsenal once again last season by scoring in the Europa League semi-final second leg – going on to win the trophy – and scored twice in the Uefa Super Cup win over Real Madrid in August.