Performance Lab: Diego Costa

FFT analyses the spearhead of Atletico Madrid’s resurgence – with insider info from the Rojiblancos on what’s behind his phenomenal strike rate…

Link-up

Telepathic Partnership
More than half of Costa’s goals in this campaign have been assisted by Koke. “We talk after training about the way we should link up,” Costa told FFT.
 

Nutrition

Post-match meal
Fresh fish is a staple for Atletico players, with lots of fresh tomatoes and steamed vegetables. This meal is low in fat, aiding muscle recovery.

More after the break

Psychology

Mindset
“It’s not been easy, with loans, operations and rehabilitation, but life is a constant lesson we must learn from. Sometimes you don’t have the same touch of inspiration as other days, but if I give it everything, I’ll reap the rewards.”

Finish like Costa

Set up Arrange two teams of attackers (in red) and defenders (in white) outside the box with a wall passer on the edge of the area.
Action An attacker passes to a defender and overlaps behind him. The defender gives it to the wall passer, who lays the ball off for the attacker to shoot (first taking at least one touch). The defender sprints to stop the shot.

Technical

Surgical accuracy
38.8 per cent – that’s the Costa conversion rate of shots to goals. He has the best shot accuracy in La Liga, too: 71 per cent of his strikes are on target, ahead of Lionel Messi (hitting the spot 70 per cent of the time) and Cristiano Ronaldo (59 per cent).

Workout

Power up
Diego’s upper body strength is a key factor in his ability to overcome opponents. Focused drills that develop the chest, arms and shoulders help him maintain this asset.

Transfer fee

£32,000,000
The amount of money a club would have to pay to activate Costa’s buyout clause.

Recovery

Dulce de leche
This is a popular post-match drink among Atletico players, especially after a late-night La Liga tie – the caramelised milk can help relax the body and mind after a game.

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