May 19, 2014, 2:15 PM EDT
Atletico Madrid look to have suffered a huge blow ahead of the UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid this Saturday in Lisbon: top scorer and talisman Diego Costa is reportedly out through injury.
Costa, 25, hobbled off during Atleti’s title-decider against Barcelona last Sunday and although his team pulled through and won the La Liga title thanks to a 1-1 draw in the Nou Camp, Costa’s hamstring injury was in the back of everyone’s minds.
Atletico head coach Diego Simeone tried to stay positive when asked about the injury but it is believed that Costa’s chances of making the final are slim.
If it turns out that the 35 goal hotshot will not be fit to face Real in the UCL final and the severity of his hamstring strain could also rule him out of Spain’s World Cup squad. Only time will tell how long it will take to recover but Atletico confirmed that Costa has suffered a “a grade I injury to his femoral biceps muscle” in his right hamstring. That type of injury takes at least two weeks to recover from. Our friends over at Soccerly state that Costa should be okay to compete at the World Cup this summer but his reoccurring hamstring issues will worry Spanish boss Vicente del Bosque.
The Brazilian born striker, who has scored 54 goals in 87 appearances for Atletico, has been pivotal in the success of Simeone’s side and is now set to miss the chance to hand Atletico Madrid their first-ever European title in club history. Bitter rivals Real will be rubbing their hands with glee as news of Costa’s injury filters through.
Other Atletico players have stepped up to the plate this season with David Villa and Raul Garcia adding 26 goals between them but Costa’s important to Atleti is about more than goals. When you watch his tireless performances closely as their lone forward, you appreciate just how much effort he puts in off the ball. His runs into the channels draw defenders away and allow midfielder such as Garcia, Turan and others to find pockets of spaces to score and cause problems.
If Costa, as expected, does miss the UCL final then Atletico’s chances of winning the crown have diminished substantially.
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