Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has taken yet another shot at former club Chelsea and discussed the situation of team-mate Antoine Griezmann, who opted against a transfer to Barcelona in the summer.
The Spain international spoke to Marca's Carlos Carpio and David G. Medina ahead of Saturday's derby match against Real Madrid and didn't hold back when the topic turned to his difficult exit from the Blues:
"It was a very bad moment, but it wasn't my fault. People said things, but time puts everything in its place. Look where the coach is; look at [Antonio] Conte. I was wrong going to Chelsea because of their way of dealing with things. Cholo is a direct coach, and when he doesn't love you, it's clear and he facilitates it. At Chelsea it was the opposite.
"I had the option of returning to Atleti and when Chelsea told me to go back to training with the B team... I was clear that I was going back to Atletico, even though there were other offers. If not, I would've stayed in Brazil with my family. I had to live my whole life with my family. I have other values that no money can buy."
On Griezmann, he said the France international made the right decision, even if some people will disagree:
"I understood Griezmann. People criticise and people around him may have told him that he needed 'a change,' just as what happened to me. Outsiders were very opinionated, but we both are very guided by our families. He stayed true to his heart, and he wanted to stay, to be here. From the beginning I knew I wanted to stay.
"Of course, an offer from Barcelona is important. [Lionel] Messi, the club... it's normal to be excited. Atletico are a big club too, and Griezmann is a leader. He stayed and gave us the Europa League. Then he won the Super Cup, the World Cup. ... He's a boy who showed the feelings he had. This is the strength that the club has. We know that Atletico can fight with any other club."
As Goal's Ryan Benson explained, the end of Costa's Chelsea tenure wasn't pretty. There were rumours he didn't get along with manager Antonio Conte, who reportedly sent the forward a text message to let him know he was no longer part of his plans.
That, in turn, saw Costa go AWOL, setting up a nightmare start for the club to the new campaign, per Goal's Ben Spratt.
After their Premier League title win in 2016-17, the 2017-18 campaign was difficult for the Blues. Costa returned to Atletico, and Conte was sacked at the end of the season.
Griezmann has been linked with Barcelona for years and kept everyone in suspense during the summer before announcing his return to the Spanish capital.
The former Real Sociedad man turned the transfer saga into a drawn-out affair that left many frustrated:
He released a short video to announce his decision:
The way in which he handled the saga drew plenty of criticism, and the decision would always follow suit regardless of the outcome.
It didn't help that the video was produced by a company owned by Barcelona star Gerard Pique:
Los Rojiblancos started the season in fine form by beating rivals Real in the UEFA Super Cup, and after a poor opening to the La Liga campaign, they have closed the gap to leaders Barca and Real to just two points.
Costa will be trying to bag his first league goal of the season in Saturday's derby.