Atletico Madrid Forward Diego Costa Test Positive For COVID-19

In this file photo taken on October 3, 2018 Atletico Madrid’s Spanish forward Diego Costa eyes the ball during the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Club Brugge at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid. GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP

 

Spanish striker Diego Costa and Colombian defender Santiago Arias have both tested positive for Covid-19, their club Atletico Madrid said Thursday.

Before the resumption of training on Friday, the entire first-team squad underwent tests except for Costa and Arias.

“The team has been tested except for those involved in international fixtures with their countries,” said an Atletico statement.

“Diego Costa and Santiago Arias, who tested positive during their holidays, are currently isolating and show no symptoms.

“Both players are staying at home complying with all protocols and measures set by the authorities and La Liga.

“Therefore, they will not resume training on Sept. 4 and their return is expected after completing their quarantine.”

AFP

Coca-Cola To Buy Coffee Chain Costa For £3.9bn

Credit: Bloomberg

 

Coca-Cola is to buy Costa coffee from leisure group Whitbread in a deal that values the UK high-street chain at £3.9bn including debt.

James Quincey, Coca-Cola president and chief executive said that Costa would give the company, “new capabilities and expertise in coffee and our system can create opportunities to grow the Costa brand worldwide”.

“Hot beverages is one of the few remaining segments of the total beverage landscape where Coca-Cola does not have a global brand. Costa gives us access to this market through a strong coffee platform.”

Whitbread had previously announced it would spin off Costa from the rest of its business, which is focused on the faster-growing Premier Inn hotel brand, after coming under pressure from activist investors.

A “significant majority” of the net cash proceeds of around £3.8bn from the deal will be returned to shareholders, Whitbread said.

AFP

Costa Strike Not Enough As Sevilla Down Atletico

Costa Strike Not Enough As Sevilla Down Atletico
Sevilla and Atletico players cheer each other at the end of the Spanish ‘Copa del Rey’ (King’s cup) football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on January 17, 2018.   PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU / AFP

 

Diego Costa’s third goal in four matches wasn’t enough for Atletico Madrid as Sevilla twice scored late to stun their hosts 2-1 in the first leg of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals on Wednesday, while Valencia also came from a goal down to beat lowly Alaves.

Costa struck for dominant Atletico on his first appearance since being sent off for wildly celebrating his last goal at Getafe, this one a superb first-time shot past Sevilla keeper Sergio Rico after the ball ricocheted to him in the 73rd minute.

However, Sevilla grabbed a hugely fortunate and barely deserved equaliser seven minutes later when a speculative cross deflected off Atletico defender Lucas Hernandez and was then inexplicably pushed into his own net by keeper Miguel Angel Moya.

New Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella sealed his third win since arriving in Spain — all of coming them in the cup — with a much better goal two minutes from time, Joaquin Correa racing on to Wissam Ben Yedder’s knock-on and tucking a fine finish past Moya.

Valencia came close to being shocked at their Mestalla stadium by Alaves, who are languishing in 17th place in La Liga and are just two points above the relegation zone, but Goncalo Guedes and Rodrigo scored in nine second-half minutes to overturn Ruben Sobrino’s 66th-minute opener for the away side.

Barcelona are at local rivals Espanyol in Wednesday’s late game.

AFP

Costa Gets Red Card After Scoring Atletico Winner

Costa Gets Red Card After Scoring Atletico Winner
Atletico Madrid’s Spanish forward Diego Costa (L) is shown a red card after celebrating a goal with supporters during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Getafe CF at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on January 6, 2018. OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP

 

Atletico Madrid unleashed Diego Costa in La Liga on Saturday and the controversial centre-forward scored the winner before being sent off in a 2-0 home win over regional rivals Getafe.

Atletico’s transfer ban ended last week and Costa was playing his first league game since rejoining the Spanish club from Chelsea.

The 2-0 win, in which France star Antoine Griezmann set up the opener for Angel Correa on 18 minutes, lifts Atletico into second, six points behind Barcelona who play Levante on Sunday.

Atletico stay two points clear of third-placed Valencia, who are on 37 points after coming back from an early deficit to beat Girona 2-1 thanks to a first-half Janos Ramalho own goal and Daniel Parejo’s penalty three minutes after the break.

Costa had been lively the whole match and received a yellow card for a foul in the 62nd minute. Five minutes later he met a low cross to put his side 2-0 up and immediately earned a second yellow for leaping into the stands to celebrate with fans.

The brooding striker looked totally perplexed by the decision but his borderline style of play may inject some much-needed bite to the Atletico forward line.

“His presence gives us speed and directness. And he frightens opponents too,” said Atletico Coach Diego Simeone after the game.

“The referee was unable to consider the emotional aspect (of Costa’s behaviour), the rules are the rules,” he said.

Simeone’s side looked as hard to beat as ever — with just eight goals conceded and one defeat in 18 league games — but they have scored only 27 with Griezmann struggling to find the net, hitting just five league goals so far.

Atletico haven’t won La Liga since Costa left for London, where he won two Premier League titles in three years after rifling the Madrid club to their tenth league championship with 27 goals.

AFP

Costa Delighted To Be ‘Home’ At Atletico

Atletico Madrid’s forward from Spain Diego Costa (C) follows the game from the stands during the Spanish league football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Sevilla FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on September 23, 2017.
CURTO DE LA TORRE / AFP

Spain striker Diego Costa claimed he was coming home after completing his return to Atletico Madrid from Chelsea on Tuesday.

Both clubs finally reached an agreement for a reported initial 55 million euro deal ($64.8 million) on Thursday and the Brazilian-born striker has now completed his medical with the Spanish giants.

“I’m very happy to return home, I’ve always said it, Atletico is my home, I’m very, very happy,” he told the club’s website.

Costa can’t feature until January as his move was completed outside the transfer window.

However, Atletico said he will begin training immediately and is likely to be in the stands when Chelsea are the visitors for the first ever Champions League game at Atletico’s new Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday.

“The international forward signed his new contract after successfully passing the medical tests that he underwent in two phases: last Saturday and Monday,” Atletico said in a statement

“Starting tomorrow, he will join the team’s training, but he will not be registered until the next winter market opens on January 1st.”

Costa was Atletico’s top scorer as they won La Liga and reached the Champions League final in 2013/14 before moving to Chelsea where he won two Premier League titles in three seasons.

“I’m looking forward to starting contributing. I’m going to give my all for the team, as I always try to do,” added Costa, who will wear the number 19 jersey.

AFP

Chelsea Ready For Stoke Clash – Mourinho

chelseaChelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho, on Friday said that none of his players have returned from their international duty with injury, adding that those who have fitness problems have recovered.

The Chelsea boss made known the clean bill of health for his squad at his pre-match media conference.

According to Chelseafc.com, Mourinho told journalists that Diego Costa who came off in the last league game at Hull City, due to a hamstring injury, will be available for tomorrow’s match against Stoke, adding that a decision is yet to be made on whether the striker will begin the game or be on the bench.

“Diego trained yesterday and today with the group and he is not injured,” Mourinho said.

“I don’t know if I start with him or not because after a muscular injury and then just two days with the group, I need to analyse the situation with him and make a decision.

“His injury was the same as before, hamstring, and he dedicated himself to that with no days off for him or the medical department, working morning and afternoon. We did all the tests and scans to confirm the situation two days ago and at the moment the muscle is fine, but football is more than that, you need confidence, you need to believe you are free to express yourself at the maximum intensity and that is our doubt at the moment. Let’s see in the next 24 hours.

“All the season he works on prevention to make the muscle stronger and at the same time elastic and flexible, recovering well with no big accumulation of fatigue. Myself and the medical department always believe that an operation is the last resort for every injury – so we try always to train and recover to compensate the little problems. I don’t believe we will ever go to the surgery option.”

Speaking about John Mikel Obi, he said the Midfielder is in full training again, following minor knee surgery, but will not be considered for the game.

“Mikel is fine and working all week with the group but he is very tired so he is not selected, but he is not injured,” the manager said, explaining that rehabilitation training differs significantly from training for match action.

The Manager added, “He is tired because he was injured for a month, he had surgery and he was not working with the group, so after four sessions with the group he needs time to adapt and needs time to be in condition.”

The Nigerian’s tiredness is different, Mourinho told the conference, from that attributed to Eden Hazard, following his international action. There is no doubt the Belgian will be ready for action tomorrow.

“Eden was tired because he played two games in three days and he played in Israel. He traveled and he didn’t sleep as he arrived in Belgium at 5 or 6 in the morning. He is tired because he played and we think that he can recover in these couple of days and he starts the game tomorrow.”

“That is football for a player who is important for club and national team. He is a player that I want to play every time and his coach for his country wants to play him every time. He is player who plays with the ball, he creates and dribbles and plays with lots of intensity so it is not a surprise he can be a bit tired – but I believe in him, I believe in the team and I believe in his ambition to play and his desire to play and help the team to reach the season’s objective, so I start with him.”

Speaking on the game against Stoke city the Chelsea boss said,”Everybody knows the way Stoke play but they are difficult opponents and that is why they have no problem staying in the Premier League. They have a manager who is there a couple of years and has a new contract and the same players and they are very stable. Everyone knows the way they play but it is difficult for everyone.”

Mourinho added that the team needs six victories and one draw from nine remaining matches.