Diego Costa has explained his decision to return to the Premier League after joining Wolves on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old, who has scored 59 goals in 120 games for Chelsea, has been without a club since leaving Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro in January.
During his time at Stamford Bridge, Costa won two Premier League titles and the League Cup. He left Chelsea in 2017 after a bust with then-Blues manager Antonio Conte.
Costa underwent his Wolves medicine last week and is signing for the club as cover for new signing Sasa Kalajdziv, who picked up a serious injury on his debut.
“It’s a first class club with very good players who know how to play football and the chance to play in the Premier League again was the most important thing,” said Costa.
“Obviously the club influenced my decision, mainly because I know that I can adapt much more easily here, not only from a technical point of view, the quality of the players, but also due to the fact that a lot of the players are Portuguese and that will mean make transition so much smoother.
“It wasn’t ideal due to a player’s injury and unfortunately I can only wish him the best.
“But if he [Bruno Lage] told me about his return to the Premier League as this is a league I’m quite involved with that I’ve always liked and followed.
“No matter how much I enjoyed playing in Madrid, I felt discouraged but that motivated me. It ignited this fire in me.”
The 33-year-old added: “I always thought the Premier League was the best out there, the best in the world.
“I had the pleasure of playing in it, coming back again and from experience I think the league has the atmosphere, the way the game is played, the stadiums full of fans, the pitch in perfect condition, the respect that the players have for each other.
“I thought if I was physically and mentally ready for this new challenge, if I was physically and mentally ready for this new challenge – a difficult one, I know for sure – but mentally, I’m fine, if I could do it.
“Physically and mentally it will take me two to three weeks to get back in shape but that’s normal as I haven’t done much in a while but I know I can do it.
“If I had ever doubted my potential because of what I’ve done – and thank God I’ve had a fulfilling career – and had nothing left to give, I wouldn’t have taken up this challenge because I have a team to look after, and if I said yes to that, it’s because I think I can bring something to the table.’
Wolves have made an underwhelming start to the 2022-23 season, winning just one of their first six games to sit in 14th place ahead of this weekend’s round of games.
Wolves chairman Jeff Shi said of Costa’s arrival: “We are delighted to welcome Diego Costa to Wolves and back to the Premier League.
“As a serial winner with a wealth of experience at the highest level, Diego will bring something unique to our dressing room and onto the pitch and we look forward to his influence at Molineux and Compton this season.”
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