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Simeone: Leave Costa alone

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes the media should lay off his controversial Brazilian striker Diego Costa.

The 26-year-old has won Atletico’s last two games off his own boot, scoring a penalty brace in a 2-1 win against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey and the only goal in Atletico’s 1-0 triumph against Real Betis in La Liga but he is also a source of frustration for his diving and acts of petulance.

“The best thing that could happen is that Diego Costa would be unable to play for the next 12 days, and then the media would stop talking about him, because you are the ones who talk about him all the time,” Simeone said.

“I think the reality on the pitch is that he is a very aggressive player, very intensive, but aggressive, but we know that he is in good form.

“He had the (red card) in the Europa League, and to be honest we saw him play very well. The most important thing is that he is responding on the pitch and this is what we like.”

Simeone warned that their upcoming clash with surprise-packets Rayo Vallecano will be tough, admiring the strengths of Paco Jemez’s team.

“Rayo (Vallecano) are a good team and they have been improving thanks to the work of their coach,” Simeone said.

“With their particular way of playing and today they are more balanced than before and they are more dangerous, because all the players know what to do with the ball.

“They are a team that want to be at the top and they like to put pressure on the pitch of their opponent.”

Thu 7 Feb, 2013
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