At Atltico, Diego Costa goes to 13 career debut; remember

(Photo: AFP)

The wait to see Diego Costa in action with the Atltico shirt should even be shorter than initially projected. Without playing since December 2020, the 32-year-old forward quickly advanced in the physical reconditioning process and joined the Alvinegro squad this Friday, in Atibaia, where the group is preparing for the game on Sunday, at 20:30, with Red Bull Bragantino. And the expectation is that the club’s new 19 shirt will gain minutes in the match at the Nabi Abi Chedid Stadium, in Bragana Paulista, for the 18th round of the Brazilian Championship.

A scorer wherever he went, the Spaniard is going to the 13th debut (or re-debut) of his career (see them all in the gallery below). In the previous 12, he won seven, drew two and lost three. He scored four goals, distributed two assists and received four yellow cards, according to data compiled by supersports based on the sites Transfermarkt and the goal.

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The first record of a performance by Diego Costa in professional football was on August 27, 2006, when he was 17 years old. At the time, the center forward was Penafiel’s starter in the goalless draw with Trofense, away from home, for the Second Division of the Portuguese Championship.

Afterwards, he passed by Braga and Celta de Vigo, also without great success in his debut. His first goal debut was for Albacete, in 2008. On that occasion, he scored in a 2-1 victory over Sevilla, in the Second Division of Spain. It was in the Iberian country that Diego Costa reached the peak of his victorious career, with many goals and international prominence – which led him to the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

The main shirt of the striker’s trajectory is Atltico de Madrid. They came and went to the Spanish capital, with a debut and two debuts by the colchonero club. They all won 4-0 (against Sporting Gijn, Athletic Bilbao and Lleida Esportiu), scored a goal and gave two assists.

The first time in English football was also positive. Diego Costa scored a goal in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Burnley, away from home, in the Premier League. It was the beginning of a landmark stint of more than three years in the Blues before returning to Atleti.

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Diego Costa has an atypical trajectory of squads. In 2013, Sergipe received the first call from Brazil, led at the time by Luiz Felipe Scolari. He was a reserve and played just 33 minutes in two friendlies, without scoring goals or distributing assists. The debut was in a 2-2 draw with Italy.

Given the few opportunities in the national team, he chose to defend Spain – where he effectively emerged as world football star. He was called up by Vicente Del Bosque in 2013, a few months after defending Brazil, but ended up cut due to a thigh injury.

The debut was for 2014, the eve of the World Cup. And Diego arrived with good spirits: he started and stayed on the field for 90 minutes of the Spanish victory by 1-0 in a friendly against Italy, the same opponent of the attacker in the first game with the Brazilian national team shirt less than a year before.

For the Fria, Diego Costa competed in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. Afterwards, he stopped being called up and exclusively defended the Atltico de Madrid. This Sunday, another Atltico must act for the first time.