The career of Chelsea star Diego Costa has had its ups and downs, but the Brazilian-born striker may have never graced the Premier League if he followed through with his declaration to give up football as a teenager.
With the 28-year-old subject to ongoing speculation over his future following interest from Chinese Super League club, Tianjin Quanjian, the president of Costa’s first club – Barcelona Capela – Paulo Sergio Moura has revealed one incident which could have left Costa in anonymity after he expressed his desire to quit the game.
Moura recalled the incident as he told Goal: “At one point, (Armando) Silva (one of Jorge Mendes’ scouts) was scheduled to come to Brazil and, just at that time, Diego was punished for a red card and was given an 180-day suspension.
“Diego came to me and said: ‘I told you, Paulo, that I did not want to be a footballer, I don’t want to, this is to show me that I’m not going to be a footballer.’ He didn’t want to play anymore and gave up playing football.
After seeing Diego Costa last night, i really dont want him to leave.
— – (@TacticalAC) May 13, 2017
“After three or four days before these people arrived, we went to the Federation because we had all the games recorded and the footage proved that he did nothing to anybody. The Federation reversed the decision and I just called him to tell him to go to the game. He arrived without training.”
“The scout, in the five minutes he had seen Diego play, said, ‘thank you, I’m leaving, I don’t want to see anymore, I’ve seen enough and I want him’.”
That moment would prove to set Costa’s career in motion as he made the move to Braga which would then seem him sign for Atletico Madrid and eventually Chelsea, collecting a La Liga title, Copa del Rey, League Cup and two Premier League titles along the way.
Costa has proved to be instrumental in Chelsea’s title winning campaign, scoring twenty goals, and Saturday’s FA Cup final could well be the last time the 28-year-old walks onto the field with a Chelsea shirt on.
If a move to China or elsewhere is on Costa’s radar during the summer, Moura claims: “Diego is very special, he really is. The fans love him. If he leaves the club, I think Chelsea would fall apart.”