By 90Min
January 04, 2018

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has revealed he feels like a footballer again, after spending the first half of the season unable to play matches.

The Spaniard was forced to watch on from the stands of Atleti's new Wanda Metropolitano Stadium because the club's transfer ban was upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport back in June.

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

Los Cholconeros were slapped with the ban for breaching rules in regard to the transfer of foreign players under the age of 18, and fined £622,000.

It meant that Costa had to wallow in self-pity for a number of months after reportedly being told by Antonio Conte by text at Chelsea that he wasn't going to be a part of his plans for the 2017/18 season. He then went AWOL, with club demanding he returned to pre-season training.

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

He finally got to take to the field for his new club on Thursday against Lleida Esportiu after being officially registered a few days ago following his £57m switch from Stamford Bridge, and he told reporters, as quoted by MARCA: "I am very happy for having once again felt like a footballer and for having played with Atletico Madrid again.

"It's very important to me and I'm very happy about it. I couldn't ask for more from my second debut. I'm back playing again and I was lucky enough to score a goal. It just makes me even happier."

It is a new leaf for Costa, who is back at the club where he made his name as one of Europe's most fearsome strikers, and it could spell the end for teammate Antoine Griezmann, who can no longer call himself the main man at the club.

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