Diego Costa has delivered a final message to Chelsea after completing his long awaited move back to Atletico Madrid, thanking the club, staff and fans for the three years he spent at Stamford Bridge and admitting his exit under a cloud didn’t happen in the way he hoped.
Costa’s return to Spain, in a deal reported to be worth £58m, was completed on Tuesday night after Chelsea and Atletico had come to an agreement in principle earlier this month.
Taking to Instagram shortly afterwards, Costa posted a picture of himself in Chelsea kit holding the Premier League trophy and assured fans he will ‘never forget’ his time with the club.
“Some cycles begin while others end,” the striker wrote.
“My cycle at Chelsea began three years ago – three remarkable years in all aspects – and I will never forget it. Two championship titles, a Community Shield, 120 matches, 59 goals and 24 assists later this cycle has ended. Not the way I would have wanted – far from it – but the best way possible.”
The 28-year-old then turned his attention to Chelsea fans, staff and colleagues.
“The wonderful fans of such equally admirable club and all team-mates, as well as all clinical, administrative and logistics staff will remain forever in my mind and in my heart,” he said.
“I will bring them with me with the certainty that I will always be by their side as well, and I’m sure they will understand the reason why this cycle of mine has now ended – because I could not lose faith in myself. Thank you Chelsea for everything!”
A Chelsea exit for Costa became inevitable in June when he revealed the existence of a text message from Antonio Conte informing the player he would no longer be part of the manager’s plans – the pair had already endured a rocky relationship during the 2016/17 campaign.
Having signed with Atletico outside of a transfer window, Costa will be able to train with his new team-mates, but won’t be eligible to play until he can be registered when the next Spanish window opens on 1st January 2018.