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Diego Costa nearly gave up football a decade ago

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Football News

Chelsea fans have been treated to the good, the bad, and the ugly of Diego Costa in his three years at the club.

For the Stamford Bridge faithful, the Spain international's 20 league goals this season will no doubt outweigh some of his more controversial antics.

Aside from his amateur dramatics on the pitch, the 28-year-old also drew attention to himself back in January following a training ground row with manager Antonio Conte.

Conte was reportedly furious that the former Atletico Madrid man's head had been turned by rumours that Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanijan were preparing a bid for him.

A few months and a goal drought later, and it still looks likely that Costa will be leaving. The FA Cup final against Arsenal might well be the last time we see him in a Chelsea shirt.

Such is the forward's reputation that few Premier League fans will be sorry to see him go if he does move to the Far East.

However, perhaps we should be grateful that English football has been witness to his talent, because it has emerged that he very nearly gave up football altogether.

Paulo Sergio Moura, president of Barcelona Capela, Costa's first club, has been giving Goal an insight into the player's somewhat bizarre personality.

Costa nearly gave up 

Moura recalled one incident when a young Costa reacted so badly to receiving a lengthy suspension that he wanted to quit the game.

“At one point, [Armando] Silva [one of Jorge Mendes' scouts] was scheduled to come to Brazil and, just at that time, Diego was punished for a red card and was given an 180-day suspension.

"Diego came to me and said: 'I told you, Paulo, that I did not want to be a footballer, I don't want to, this is to show me that I'm not going to be a footballer.' He didn't want to play anymore and gave up playing football.

"After three or four days before these people arrived, we went to the Federation because we had all the games recorded and the footage proved that he did nothing to anybody. The Federation reversed the decision and I just called him to tell him to go to the game. He arrived without training."

In the end, the scout took just five minutes to decide he wanted to sign Costa and the rest, as they say, is history.

Is it the right time for Costa to leave Chelsea? Have your say in the comments. 

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