Costa attributes goal-scoring spree to Drogba

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DIEGO Costa has paid tribute to Chelsea legend Didier Drogba for inspiring his goal spree with the league leaders.

Costa smashed 20 goals two seasons ago to shoot the Blues to title success following his £32million move from Atletico Madrid.

Drogba, voted Chelsea’s greatest player by supporters five years ago, was at the club during Costa’s first season.

The Ivory Coast striker, who clinched 12 major trophies at Stamford Bridge, was back last weekend to see Costa help crush Arsenal and keep the club nine points clear at the top of the table. “I have always seen Drogba as the example to follow in terms of a centre-forward,” said Costa. “He was strong and scored loads of goals and he was a quality player.

Chelsea’s Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (C) celebrates scoring their second goal with Chelsea’s Nigerian midfielder Victor Moses (L) and Chelsea’s Spanish defender Marcos Alonso (2L) during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Chelsea at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on October 30, 2016. AFP

“Just watching him train helped me. Just seeing him, I was amazed. This is because — and I’m not making this up at all — I specifically used to watch Chelsea [before he joined], who are obviously a big club, just to see Drogba. “He was famous and everyone would talk about him. I even liked watching him when he played for the Ivory Coast.

In an interview with Chelsea TV, the Spain international detailed how Drogba showed no ego and offered plenty of advice when it became clear he would be cast in a supporting role, leaving him to revel in the company of a player he had long admired.

“I have always seen Drogba as the example to follow in terms of a centre-forward,” Costa said. “He was strong and scored loads of goals and he was a quality player.

“Just watching him train helped me. Just seeing him, I was amazed. This is because – and I’m not making this up at all – I specifically used to watch Chelsea [before he joined], who are obviously a big club, just to see Drogba.

“He was famous and everyone would talk about him. I even liked watching him when he played for the Ivory Coast.

“When I arrived here, he was never cold with me, quite the opposite. I wasn’t exactly scared of him, but he was such a legend who had helped the club grow and been a part of all that.

“He made history here, so could have been dismissive of me but, no, he was always fantastic with me. I will always have fond memories of him and whenever I see him, I thank him. It’s not always easy for someone with so much history to be in that position.

“I was playing well, scoring goals, and he would support and motivate me, whereas others might not have done the same. I take my hat off to him.”

Having faltered in 2015-16, Costa is back on form for Chelsea this time around, scoring 15 times in 22 Premier League appearances for the top flight’s runaway leaders.

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