Diego Costa: ‘I was looking for a way back to Atletico’

Daniel Roberts
Diego Costa: Reveals why he wanted Atleti return

Diego Costa has admitted he wanted to leave Stamford Bridge last summer and has explained why he was keen to depart.

The Spain international has revealed that he was ‘angling for a move back to Atletico Madrid’ at the start of the season because he was sick of Premier League referees.

Costa claims he is harshly treated in England, while in Spain he is allowed to play his natural game without constant reprimand.

Speaking to Thierry Henry, the 28-year-old was asked why his behaviour on the pitch has improved this season.

“Honestly? I stopped and thought that in Spain I was doing the same things and nothing happened to me,” Costa replied.

“I thought I had to change because otherwise, I had to leave.

“I wanted to leave this season because of this, at the beginning of the season I was looking for a way back to Madrid at Atletico because I felt like here they didn’t let me play.

“For the smallest thing, they ban me for three matches. I was nervous on the pitch because I was worried that I could be punished at any given moment.

“For as much as I thought that they could be wrong, that they want this to be the best league in the world, but as soon as you touch someone or go in a bit hard you are banned for three matches, then if that’s the rule I have to abide by it.

“If here this is the culture, if that’s the way they do things here, if they are always looking at any controversy that happens on the pitch even if the referee doesn’t see it on the pitch and they look at TV footage, so I thought that I couldn’t keep missing matches because they are after me.”