Diego Costa had not been on the field since December 2020. He had returned to training with a professional group just 10 days ago. He was in Belo Horizonte until Thursday, but was called in a hurry to join the Atlético-MG delegation and, on that Sunday, he made his debut for the club. He showed that, if the physical form is not up to date, the scorer’s nose remains intact. Right off the bat, a nice calling card.
- Athletic News
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Diego took the field at 15 of the second half, in Savarino’s place. He suffered a little to participate in offensive actions and find spaces in the defense of Bragantino, but at 39, he showed why he had a successful career in Europe. Well positioned inside the area and with a rare finishing technique, he scored the beautiful goal that guaranteed a 1-1 draw.
Diego Costa debuts with a goal for Atlético-MG — Photo: Diogo Reis/AGIF
At the press conference after the game, Cuca explained why he had called up and put Diego Costa on the field, even early.
-If I had another player in the squad with his characteristic, I wouldn’t have brought it. Because he is the 9 definer, wall, pivot, the guy who will evolve a lot. Today, he played because he’s a warrior, because if he’s a vain guy, he says: “no, I’ve been out of action for eight months, training for seven days, I want to prepare better, I didn’t make a collective”.
– I said: “will the game need this guy? If you don’t need it, I don’t use it, I postpone it”. But he had to. And it was worth having brought it, right? Even prematurely.
Diego Costa, from Atlético-MG — Photo: Pedro Souza / Atlético-MG
Diego will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the break in Atlético’s marathon this season. Due to FIFA’s qualifying date, the CBF postponed two Galo commitments: against Grêmio (Brasileirão) and Fluminense (Brazil Cup). The next official game will only be on September 12th, against Fortaleza.
– Work on the physical performance that is important. This type of player already has a physical ballast inside. You have to perfect now is strength – which is a strength player. There are technical details: the definition, the domain, the explosion, the start, everything will be worked on – said Cuca.