Using a survey system across its global networks, ESPN has ranked Chelsea FC target and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa the 21st best player in the World Cup. ESPN says that it ranked the Top 50 players “based on an extensive survey of ESPN writers, editors and TV analysts across all regions (ESPN FC, ESPN Argentina, ESPN Brazil, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Mexico)” and that it will reveal five every day until the World Cup begins.
Diego Costa has reportedly taken and passed his Chelsea medical but neither club has made the move official. It is possible that they will wait until after the World Cup to make it official but could still confirm that a deal has been agreed to. Costa has become one of the most feared strikers in the world and Spain did well to poach from the Brazilian national team whose only real weakness is at the forward position.
Here is what ESPN had to say about Diego Costa:
No. 21 Diego Costa, Spain/Atletico Madrid (Chelsea?)
Why he’s ranked: A steady diet of goals, movement, power and aggressive forward play helped Costa guide Atletico Madrid to La Liga title glory, and while a summer move to Chelsea might be on his agenda, his first task will be confirming his rise up the game’s order at this summer’s World Cup. A powerful frame, dogged determination and willingness to engage in battle in the pursuit of victory are among Costa’s finest qualities.
Key stat: Costa scored a career-high 36 goals in all competitions with Atletico Madrid this season.
What the experts say: “[He is] blessed with a warrior attitude and determination to dare and win at all costs. One of the things, beyond his goals, that elevates Diego Costa is that he’s open to learning and to improving. He knows his temperament needs discipline and development, and he’s doing something about it.” – Graham Hunter
Diego Costa is ranked ahead of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and just behind AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli, two of the best strikers in Europe. Costa is not fully fit and it is unclear whether he will be the first choice for Vicente Del Bosque but if he gets the chances, he will make his impact felt on the World Cup. He is coming in to a very hostile environment as a Brazilian that chose to play for Spain but he is the type of player that will feed off that and use it as motivation.
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