In his first season in England, Italian manager Antonio Conte is within the touching distance of the biggest prize in the country, the Premier League title. His squad at Chelsea is easily one of the strongest while the starting XI has been one of the most productive in the domestic league this season.
A number of players have been in superb form this season but none more than Spanish striker Diego Costa.
The former Atletico Madrid man helped Chelsea to the Premier League title in his first season at the Stamford Bridge and his exploits, albeit void in the last few games, are close to giving the Blues yet another title, this time under Conte.
He has certainly become a fan favourite at the Bridge, and in a recent exclusive with the Chelsea TV, Costa opened up about a few things.
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Speaking to the reporter, Costa revealed that Chelsea and Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba was his idol and went on to explain that he was his example when he was a kid.
“I have always seen Drogba as the example to follow in terms of a centre-forward. He was strong and scored loads of goals and he was a quality player,” said Costa. “Just watching him train helped me. Just seeing him, I was amazed.”
He went on to explain that Drogba allowed him to settle at the club and that he has to be given a bit of the credit for his returns at the Stamford Bridge.
Costa added: “He made history here, so could have been dismissive of me but, no, he was always fantastic with me. I will always have fond memories of him and whenever I see him, I thank him. It’s not always easy for someone with so much history to be in that position.”
The 28-year old was recently involved in a controversy that saw Antonio Conte drop him out of the first team, but Costa felt that it will not affect his game, and went on to thank the fans for their support.
“Not just the fans at the ground, but the other Chelsea supporters and my team-mates have shown that they care about me and I feel the same about them, too,” said the Spanish international. “I don’t know what it is exactly, but when the fans get behind you, it gives you a boost and can change a game completely.”
The Spaniard has been involved in a number of tussles in recent times, and has earned himself the name of a bad boy in the Premier League, but Costa brushed the criticism aside and said that his desire to win is what makes him do such things.
He concluded: “Perhaps you could say it comes from when I used to play in the streets [back in Brazil], playing alongside my brother and cousins. I always wanted to win. Everyone has a bit of that in them, but I have even more of a will to win. I want to win and always have done since I was small. I don’t know if it’s in my blood or just my personality.”
With 51 goals in 103 appearances, it can be said that Costa is going in the right direction.