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Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone

Simeone: Just like Falcao, we will replace Costa

Tags: Argentina, Brazil, colombia, Sony Handycam ®, Sony Xperia, Spain

Diego Costa is where he wants to be and I am absolutely thrilled for him. I love Diego as a player. At Atletico Madrid, he gave us so much and I will always be grateful to those players who have given me their all.

Estudiantes de La Plata v Atletico Madrid - Copa Euroamericana 2013

Diego behaved in that way the whole time he was with us, so I wish him the very best at Chelsea. I hope he has a great season. He can still get a lot better, keep growing.

He’s at an age where he can continue to improve, so let’s hope he can develop further. He’ll have to adapt quickly to the system at Chelsea and to the coach, but let’s hope the team can take full advantage of his characteristics. I see a player very much on the way up and I’m sure he’ll be a success.

Top strikers have come and gone at Atletico. The club have always seemed to be able to minimalise the impact when big players leave. Fernando Torres left, Diego Forlan left, Sergio Aguero left, Radamel Falcao left and now Costa and David Villa have moved on – and the team has remained competitive.

Atletico have always done well in that respect and I hope the same thing will happen this time with a suitable replacement for Diego. When Aguero left, many saw it as a big blow, but Falcao came in and the team won trophies. Then Falcao left and people said we wouldn’t be able to compete, but we kept growing with Costa.

I believe a team as a whole is much more important than its individual players. Look at Colombia. They have been a sensation in this World Cup – and they have done it without Falcao. Colombia are a team with great balance and they have a lot of players who want the ball.

Despite Falcao’s absence through injury, they have been able to compete as a team and coach Jose Pekerman deserves credit for that.

Costa could have played for Brazil at this tournament, but he chose Spain instead. Brazil’s strikers have taken some criticism, but I believe their front three are doing a good job.

Although they haven’t been able to produce their finest football so far in this competition, they remain very dangerous and as the World Cup goes on, the forwards will benefit from having played more time together. There are also likely to be more spaces available from now on and that will help them too.

So there may be no Diego Costa for Brazil, but the side’s forwards all work hard and there’s plenty of power and quality in their front three. As the team improves, I’m sure they’ll come good.

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