Chelsea striker Diego Costa has spoken highly of Jose Mourinho ahead of their meeting on Sunday having seemingly put their turbulent past behind him.
The Spain international went off the boil last season which contributed to Mourinho’s dismissal as Chelsea manager, despite having won the title just months previously. At the time there were reports that the two failed to see eye-to-eye.
However Costa insists he has great respect for the now Manchester United manager and that the Portuguese coach played a big role in him coming to Chelsea in the first place.
‘In all honesty I always tell people that I am grateful to Mourinho because he helped me a lot,’ he said in an interview with Thierry Henry for Sky Sports.
‘As a player when you want to improve you always look for the best coach and Mourinho is one of the best.
Costa and Mourinho together during their shared time at Chelsea (Getty)
‘I wanted to come to Chelsea because of Mourinho. When I considered Chelsea I thought about the fact that Mourinho was here.
‘He is a coach that demands a lot from his players, he wants the maximum.’
Costa touched on the troubles Chelsea endured last season but failed to go into any detail, simply saying ‘these things happen’.
‘He helped me a lot and then what happened is that the following season didn’t go well, these things that happen, but the truth is that Mourinho helped me a lot to improve as a player.’
Costa scored just 12 Premier League goals last season as the Blues finished 10th in the league. This term under Antonio Conte he’s netted 17 already, helping Chelsea go clear at the top of the table.