At the start of his career, the biggest question concerning Costa was whether he could tame the reckless streak that made him a magnet for referees. Last year Costa matured, but there were still doubts as to whether he could keep up his scoring pace from last season when he netted 20 goals in all competitions. Now, with no signs of cooling off, the question has become can Atletico Madrid hang on to their lucky charm? Liverpool has already made inquiries, and Chelsea, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are reportedly interested.
The Atletico star was born in Lagarto, a small town in Brazil's smallest state of Sergipe on the northeast coast. While Brazil is famous for producing soccer talent, Sergipe is one of its more humble pipelines. It is fitting that Costa's rock-solid frame is the first "Craque" from Lagarto, a town more known for its limestone and marble than its footballers.
World Cup 70 winner Clodoaldo, who also played with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the old NASL, is arguably the best player come out of Sergipe, although Costa could soon surpass him. Do not expect much of a celebration in Brazil though, as any World Cup crown for Costa would belong to his adopted homeland of Spain.
Although he does possess a good first touch, he is not as flashy as the typical Brazilian striker. His strength and finishing ability sets him apart. Give him a chance and he'll giv...
... middle of paper ...
...ccess led to many suitors, but he saw an opening following Falcao's departure to Monaco and wanted to repay the faith shown in him by Atletico. He was richly rewarded as his new deal through 2018 doubled his salary, but it has proven to be a wise investment by the colchoneros. His 19 goals at the winter break puts him in the lead for the Pichichi and includes a September game-winner at the Bernabeu against Real.
Costa added four more goals in the Champions League to help the Atleti win their group and advance to the knockout stage. Add the 13 goals he scored in the latter half of last season and Costa scored 36 goals for Atletico Madrid in 2013.
Still just 25, the petulant promise was polished into precision in 2013. The future looks bright for him at Atletico and if he gets the chance to suit up for Spain in his native Brazil this summer, 2014 might be even better.
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