Former Chelsea star Diego Costa has finally opened up as to why he switched allegiances from Brazil to Spain and claims that then head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari had something to do with it. The Brazil-born Spaniard played for the Selecao but struggled to get game-time which eventually saw him leave.
Costa would make only two appearances for the five-time World Cup winners and it saw him played out of position or on the bench. That saw the striker irritated with his lack of game-time and it saw him make a request to represent a second country. FIFA’s rules allowed to do that especially since he never played for the Selecao in a competitive game. But that decision has seen the 31-year-old widely criticised for the move in Brazil with many disowning the striker.
However, in an interview, Costa has finally opened up on what happened between him and the Brazil national team as he admitted that a lack of game-time saw him opt to leave. The Atletico Madrid forward also admitted that then manager Luiz Felipe Scolari overlooked his performances at a club level and failed to pick him despite multiple injuries.
"After the friendly against Russia, he said he would call me up again because I hadn't played many minutes. I think it was just to get in my head. I remember several forwards were injured but Scolari would not select me. I stayed quiet, but wasn't selected for the Confederations Cup. The possibility of Spain emerged and I accepted,” Costa told ESPN.
"How could I say no? Suddenly, they started saying Scolari wanted me. Well, he never called me once. How could it be that he wanted me? I then saw it written that I had ruined the dreams of millions of Brazilians. Why not say that he didn't look for me? Then it's simple."
The 31-year-old has played for a myriad of teams over the course of his career but thrived at Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, in his first spell at the club. However, his time with the Blues came to an acrimonious end after he had a row with then Chelsea boss Antonio Conte and Costa admitted that both him and Conte had problems off the field. But Costa also added that while Conte is still a good manager, he would struggle to manage at a top club like Real Madrid.
"We [Conte and I] had problems off the pitch, but I think he is a really good manager," Costa said. "I have no hard feelings towards Conte. But to be a top, top manager, he needs to change the human side of his management. He is very suspicious. At a like, say, Real Madrid, he would never last a season,” he added.