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Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa signs for free at Atletico Mineiro

The forward has finally returned to football after eight months without a club, after ending his last contract with Atletico Madrid in December

Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa has signed a free transfer at Atletico Mineiro.

The 32-year-old has reportedly committed himself to a contract that will keep him with the Brazilian outfit until December 2022.

Costa has spent the past eight months without a club, having decided to sever ties with Atletico Madrid halfway through the 2020-21 campaign, and has decided to return to his homeland after a 16-year career in European football to stop.

What was said?

Atletico Mineiro confirmed the arrival of the striker in an official statement on their website, which reads: ‘Diego Costa is a Galo player.

“The athletics board and the player reached an agreement today. Galo will be his first club as a professional athlete in Brazil.”

Why did Costa Atletico leave Madrid?

Costa rejoined Atletico Madrid at Chelsea in January 2018 on a three-and-a-half-year permanent contract, but left Wanda Metropolitano six months before the end of the deal.

The Spanish international, who changed Brazil’s international fidelity in 2014, gave personal reasons why he wanted to leave Atletico after a turbulent second period at the club. He imposed an eight-match ban for insulting a referee.

Costa’s career achievements

Costa won five trophies in his first season in Atletico’s books, including the League title and Copa del Rey, before being won by Chelsea in 2014 for £ 32 million ($ 44 million).

The experienced frontman helped the Blues secure two Premier League titles in four years and scored 58 goals in 120 games, but had a well-documented outing with then-head coach Antonio Conte towards the end of his time at Stamford Bridge.

Costa earned the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup honors after returning to Atletico, and received a medal from the League winner for twice in seven games for the club last quarter.

He will now have the task of helping Atletico Mineiro fight for the success of Copa Libertadores in their ongoing campaign in 2021, and will liaise with former teammate Hulk at the Arena MRV.

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