Cesc Fabregas the latest Chelsea star to pay tribute to Diego Costa

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas had today opened up on Diego Costa’s departure from the club, claiming that ‘in recent years, there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.’

On the move

Following months of speculation surrounding the future of Spanish striker Costa, the 28-year-old was finally granted a return to former club Atletico Madrid last week, after Chelsea and the La Liga giants agreed on a fee in the region of £60 million.

Though Costa was always viewed as something of a ticking time bomb by fans, a number of the controversial star’s former Chelsea teammates have spoken out since his departure was announced, paying tribute to the Spaniard as both a player on the pitch and person off of it.

‘Always a friend’

The latest Blues star to do as much is Cesc Fabregas, who has plied his trade alongside Costa for both Chelsea and the Spanish national team for the past 3 years.

Speaking in an interview with Marca today, Fabregas opened up on his on-pitch relationship with Costa, as well as why he was such a key presence in the Blues’ dressing room.

‘It’s a shame for him more than anyone. Diego knew that signing for Atletico meant he could not play for a few months.’

‘It has been a difficult situation for him, for Chelsea. He deserves to be on the field.’

‘Diego is always [a friend] and never a rival. In recent years there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.’

‘I understood him myself perfectly. He knew my football, he read my passes and most importantly, he got on the end of them.’

‘He gives a lot to the team. It is not only the Diego you see on the field. He is a character that greatly encourages the group.’

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