Atletico's coach: Costa issue over
Atletico Madrid's head coach, Diego Pablo Simeone, attends a press conference after a training session at the club's sport facilities in Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain, Apr. 19, 2019. EPA-EFE/Rodrigo Jimenez
Atletico Madrid's head coach, Diego Pablo Simeone, supervises his players during training session at the club's sport facilities in Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain, Apr. 19, 2019. EPA-EFE/ Rodrigo Jiménez
Atletico Madrid's forward Diego Costa attends a training session at the club's facilities ahead of their upcoming Spanish La Liga soccer match against Eibar, in Majadahonda, Madrid, Spain, Apr. 19, 2019. EPA-EFE/Rodrigo Jimenez
Madrid, Apr 19 (efe-epa).- Atletico Madrid Argentine head coach Diego Simeone on Friday said that the Diego Costa issue has come to an end after the Spaniard refused to take part in a training session.
Costa rejoined his teammates during Friday's practice, after which the coach confirmed that Costa, whose contract expires in 2021, was looking forward to the upcoming season after the two controversies he got involved in.
First, with the league title at stake, Costa was sent off the pitch in the 29th minute of the Barcelona La Liga game played at Camp Nou on Apr. 7 over insulting referee Jesus Gil Manzano, then he declined to take part in Thursday's training session after the club notified him that he would be heavily fined for having been handed an eight-match ban.
"It is an internal situation that we resolved yesterday and obviously Diego was training naturally as he has always trained," Simeone said on Friday.
When asked whether he, Simeone, spoke with Costa and whether Costa apologized, Simeone stressed "I think I made myself very clear. It is an internal issue as all the internal issues are resolved internally, because today Costa has trained as he always does."
"I do not think that in the family, where something happens, you tell it to the strangers passing by on the street," the coach added.
Simeone was clear that he still counts on Costa for the upcoming season despite what happened: "I have not changed my mind about Diego" before discussing the injuries that marred Costa's season with the Spanish team, allowing the forward to only play 21 out of 45 games.
"I think he has not had a good season on the basis of the many injuries that did not allow him the consistency of any other player and that he needs especially with his traits," the coach said, adding that he expected that Costa would return next season.
"He is very competitive, he had a season in which the circumstances did not allow him consistency, especially in (gaining) the match rhythm, also, not to mention this expulsion that moves him away from competition... I cannot see another situation than finding an excited Costa in the preseason with hunger and eagerness to reverse this last season," Simeone stated.