Costa: Training argument with Antonio Conte was “nothing”

Costa: Training argument with Antonio Conte was “nothing”


Diego Costa has played down a reported argument with Chelsea manager Antonio Conte which sparked rumours of his departure to China earlier this year.

The striker was said to have been dropped from the squad for a January match against Leicester City after clashing with club staff during training in regards to a back injury.

Although the incident came at the same time as a big money offer from Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, it did not take long for Costa to recapture his form in the Chelsea squad – now with 16 Premier League goals to his name this season.

The Spaniard now claims that the argument was exaggerated by the media, with he and his teammates only focused on lifting the title.

“It was nothing,” Costa said to ESPN Brasil.

“People here [in England] make up a lot of stuff. Things happen, but I’m showing now that there’s nothing to it.

“I’m playing and scoring goals, and that’s the important thing. Everyone knows that anything I say has bigger repercussions than what it was.

“The manager is someone who works us really hard in training. He’s got his personality just like I’ve got mine and others have theirs, but the important thing is to show your personality in a way that benefits the team.

“This is what’s happening. Everyone is on the same page and that’s the way we have to go.”

The Blues claimed their sixth win in eight games with a 2-1 defeat of West Ham on Tuesday morning. Costa believes that while their fellow Londoners posed a difficult test at the old Upton Park, they have not become accustomed enough to their new home yet.

“They were always a difficult team to play in their old ground,” he said

“It was always a tough game. When they come to a bigger pitch, with the crowd further from the players, maybe they don’t feel the same heat from the crowd.

“For us or other teams that come here it’s almost like coming to a neutral ground, because no one’s used to be playing here. It’s more equal.”

Antonio Conte’s side are 10 points clear of second placed Tottenham on the table, however, Costa says that they are not taking this advantage for granted at a crucial stage of the campaign.

“We can’t go onto the pitch with the mindset of thinking we’re champions already, that we have the title wrapped up,” he added.

“There’s still a long way to go. We do have a good advantage but we have to keep doing what we’re doing. We just have to try and keep winning and take it one step at a time.”