‘I could have left Atleti, but…’

Diego Costa has reflected on receiving a summer offer from Liverpool, before explaining why he wanted to stay with Atletico Madrid.

The striker was reported midway through preseason as the subject of a bid from the Premier League side, but ultimately has stayed with Atleti and signed a new contract.

“I had the chance to leave. I was about to do so,” admitted Costa to Mundo Deportivo.

“Liverpool are a great team. But, after so much fighting and overcoming many difficulties to earn my place at Atletico, how was I going to leave?

“I thought that it was very important for me to continue growing in this club and to play here for many years. Here I have the trust and respect of the people.

“My feelings towards Atleti? I know the world of football. I can really love a club, but a club is not just the fans, make no mistake.

“There are people running a company and with them you can encounter problems. The best way to demonstrate the affection or love that I have for Atletico is by giving my all on the field.

“That’s my point of view. If I go, perfect. If I do not go, I try to improve.”

Costa’s profile with Atleti has risen in the last year, on from serious injury and a number of loan spells that characterised his early years with the club.

“I wanted a chance. I was only asking that I could prove myself. But the strongest position at Atletico was up front.

“Since my arrival, the level in that position has been very high. The competition has always been very strong.

“I have learned a lot from the big names that I shared the dressing room with, like Aguero and Forlan.

“I knew that when I arrived at Atleti, as it is a big club, that I would have to be patient.

“If you do not have self-esteem and much love for yourself, then you fail. I knew that I had a few, whilst there were many doubts about me.

“And that made me stronger because I had to prove to myself that I would be able to show that I was worth.”

Tags Diego Costa Liverpool