Full Name: Diego da Silva Costa
Club: Atletico Madrid
Country: Spain
DOB: 7 October 1988 (age 25)
Height: 6 ft 2 in

When it comes to in-demand strikers, Diego Costa is one of the hottest properties in the European markets right now. It is incredible to think that the 25-year-old Atletico Madrid striker only took to playing competitive soccer in his late teens. Born and raised in Lagarto, Brazil, he never played professional soccer in his country of birth, something that is astonishing when you consider where he is at with his career now. His rise in Spain has come with some learning curves and it wasn’t until December of 2012 that he really catapulted himself into the Atletico side. Since that time, he has become a phenomenal La Liga goal scorer and christened his international career in a Spanish jersey.

Taking a step back to his youth, it is incredible to think that Costa didn’t play competitively until his late teens. He was a frequent participant in pick-up street games, where he learned how to hustle and bustle outside of a referees whistle. It is something that dictates his style and If you have ever watched him play, you will know he has an extra aggressive streak. In his early days, it is something that played against him but his current professional mindset allows him to use it to his advantage, working hard and getting in the face of defenders when necessary.

Did you know? Costa was sold from Atletico Madrid to Real Valladolid in July 2009, with a buy back clause included. Atletico took advantage of that by buying him back from Valladolid in June 2010.

His playing style is all about power and aggression—he is a very unique type of striker! Where we are used to the flair and skill of Messi and Ronaldo (especially in Spain) Costa possesses a unique level of grit and determination without the fancy tricks and ability to turn defenders inside out. Don’t get me wrong, he does beat defenders one on one, but it is usually down to speed and a desire to influence the game. This season he has knocked in an impressive 31 goals in 41 games, and it has resulted in Atletico Madrid becoming a top contender in the fight for the current La Liga title.

Costa has received plenty of negative attention due to several run-ins with defenders – case in point Sergio Ramos, first during his loan at Rayo Vallecano when he took a sharp Ramos elbow to the chin and gained some revenge later in their battle. These run-ins, along with various other players and teams, have overshadowed the fact that his personal game has improved dramatically from a footballing point of view. In the past few seasons, a tally of 59 yellow cards and 7 red cards in over 160 games hasn’t necessarily helped his cause.

Did you know? Diego Costa didn’t play didn’t play with any organized team until he was 16 years old.

When it comes to international play, you might have initially been confused by the fat Costa was born in Brazil but will be playing at this summer’s world cup in a Spain jersey. It has actually become a very hot issue and Brazilian officials are irate at the fact Costa chose the Spanish jersey. It has become an even more contentious point considering the world cup will take place in Brazil and he has chosen another country.

Costa with Spain
Image via adidas

Diego Costa wears the adidas adiZero F50

Costa only became a major sponsorship player this January, and the impressive 12 months before were the key to his dramatically lucrative deal. Adidas were the ones to secure his signature, with Nike, Puma and Warrior all fighting for his signature in the background. He debuted his new adiZero F50 during a La Liga game against Sevilla, on January 19th.

The silo is not exactly what you would expect the tall striker to wear. At 6’2” (a lot of people don’t realize he is so tall) Costa has chosen the slightly unorthodox F50 speed range. In similar fashion to Zlatan (Nike Vapor IX), we are left wondering why a more power centric player would choose something that is directed toward explosive, pacey players. The F50 series weighs in at a super light 5.8oz and the upper provides very minimal padding, especially when it comes to striking shots and taking in the impact of hefty challenges. Yet, they seem to be in-tune with the expectations of Costa, and he has continued to excel while wearing them.