Diego Costa, Antonio Conte Saying All the Right Things About One Another

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It’s not often that a supervisor gives a former employee a really awful performance appraisal once the subordinate has moved on to another organization. That’s because the individual is now out of their hair, simply not their problem anymore.

With the news breaking yesterday that Chelsea have transferred their outcast striker Diego Costa back to Atletico Madrid (pending physical and agreement to personal terms), Blues boss Antonio Conte refrained from bad-mouthing his former player in his weekly news conference Friday.

In fact Conte said all the right things about Diego Costa, an individual with which his conflicts have been well documented worldwide. Costa headed back to Atletico reportedly on an initial loan with a commitment to buy for £58 million (€65.7m) at the end of the season.

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“About this issue, we want to thank him for what he did with this club. We wish him all the best for the future,” Conte said about the Costa transfer.

Asked about the tense relationship with Costa and if his team will miss his scoring production, the Italian was evasive and guarded. In other words he was proverbially saying all the right things.

“Now it is not important, I am not interested to continue talking about this issue,” Conte responded to the potentially explosive query.

“I am working with my players and am happy to work them them. We must work and fight to win every competition. We are Chelsea and we need to try to do this in this season. We have to try to do our best in every competition. Our target is to do our best every day, every week, every month in this season.”

Conte also did acknowledge the good times, when they were accomplishing big things together, and thank Costa once more.

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“I do not forget we won together last season,” Conte said. “For sure we want to thank him for his effort last season with us but not only last season, the period he played for Chelsea.”

On the other side, Diego Costa also said all the right things about the situation which degenerated into a saga meets a soap opera meets a workplace dispute that was potentially headed towards litigation. Interviewed by Splash News in a Sao Paulo airport as he was heading to the Spanish capital, Costa said he harbors no ill will towards Conte.

“Not at all,” he responded. “I have no regrets with anyone. I hold no grudge with anyone. Everything is fine.”

Asked if he had a message for the Chelsea fans, he said: “They know that I care a lot about them.”

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So there you have it, “everything is awesome,” as The Lego Movie song would say, between the two men.

Obviously, it’s actually not, but hey, kudos to both for handling this situation as professional as possible.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now and Minute Media. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

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