Atletico Madrid have confirmed that they have officially terminated striker Diego Costa’s contract at the player’s request for personal reasons.
Having joined the Chelsea club in January 2018, Costa was under contract until the end of the season but was instead released six months earlier. The 32-year-old will now be a free agent and has the opportunity to find a new club.
A statement from Atletico said: “The Spanish-Brazilian player asked the club for his dismissal for personal reasons a few days ago and on Tuesday signed the termination of his contract, being released from our entity.”
Costa was just a teenager when he joined Atletico from Portuguese side Braga in 2007 and initially spent several years on loan at clubs in Portugal and Spain. It was then sold to Real Valladolid in 2009 with a redemption fee that Atletico activated just a year later.
A year in Atletico’s first team was followed by another year on loan, this time at Rayo Vallecano, but Costa returned in 2012/13 and had a breakout season with 20 goals in all competitions. He reached new levels again in 2013/14 when he scored 36 times in all competitions, won the Zarra Trophy as La Liga’s top domestic scorer and propelled the club to the title.
Atletico also made it into the 2014 Champions League final against city rivals Real, but an ongoing injury complaint brought their participation to a grinding end after just a few minutes.
Costa moved to Chelsea in 2014 and won two Premier League titles in three seasons at Stamford Bridge, before falling out of favor with manager Antonio Conte. His return transfer to Atletico came at a time when the club were banned from signing players, delaying his registration.
Injury and fitness battles kept Costa from reaching his old-fashioned form on his second stint with Atletico and he had only played seven times this season before his release.
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