Tue | Aug 3, 2021

Simeone supports under-fire Costa

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2019 | 12:20 AM
Atletico forward Diego Costa walks off the pitch after receiving a red card for insulting referee Jesus Gil Manzano during a Spanish La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 6.
Atletico forward Diego Costa walks off the pitch after receiving a red card for insulting referee Jesus Gil Manzano during a Spanish La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Saturday, April 6.

MADRID (AP):

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has come out in support of Diego Costa after the Spain striker reportedly refused to practise with the rest of the team.

Simeone said Costa’s absence on Thursday was a situation that was handled internally and that the player was back with the squad yesterday. The coach added he would not discuss specific details.

Spanish media said the former Chelsea forward didn’t practise because he was unhappy with a lack of support from the club after being suspended for eight matches for insulting a referee. Costa will not play again this season because of the ban he received for the incident in a league match against Barcelona two weeks ago.

Simeone said he expects Costa, who has been below his best during an injury-hit campaign, to be extra motivated next season.

Atletico are nine points behind leaders Barcelona with six matches remaining. They visit Eibar today, while Barcelona host Real Sociedad.