The Chelsea striker Diego Costa admits his international goal drought was weighing on his mind after opening his Spain account in the 4-0 win over Luxembourg on Sunday.
The 26-year-old has scored nine goals in as many appearances for Chelsea since his summer move from the Spanish champions, Atlético Madrid, but had failed to find the net in 515 minutes for his country. Costa was again profligate in front of goal on Sunday until finally breaking his duck in the 69th minute of his seventh international appearance before revealing his anguish, not least due to Spain’s surprising defeat to Slovakia last week.
“It was bothering me. It played on my mind and the team lost last week that also really bothered me. This goal has given me new life,” Costa told RTVE. “The ball broke loose and I just had to force it in. I have to thank the coach for his support. With every game he gave me a new opportunity.”
The Spain manager, Vicente del Bosque, added that he never doubted Costa would reproduce his club scoring form at international level. “We were all suffering and we were all pleased for Diego Costa because he has worked hard,” said Del Bosque. Now we need to look forward knowing that he will be an important player for us.
“At half-time I told him to be calm. We all noticed he was a bit nervous, dissatisfied, as he wasn’t finding a way through. But when a player has so much desire he will always get there in the end.”