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‘Always a friend, never a rival’ – Chelsea ace pays classy tribute to ex-teammate

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has insisted that he will remain friends with Diego Costa as his ex-teammate settles back into life in Spain.

Costa refused to report for training with Chelsea this season and failed to make a single appearance for the Blues as part of the on-going feud with Antonio Conte over the summer.

In turn, as noted by Marca, he finally got his escape as he was welcomed back by Atletico Madrid last week, although due to their transfer embargo, he’ll have to wait until January to make his comeback for the Spanish giants.

Fabregas has spoken about the situation, and aside from insisting that it was a great shame to see things play out the way they did and with Costa now out of action for another three months, he will seemingly keep in touch and enjoy a close relationship with his compatriot.

“Diego is always [a friend] and never a rival,” Fabregas told Marca. “In recent years there has not been a better pure No 9 than him.

“I understood him myself perfectly. He knew my football, he read my passes and most importantly, he got on the end of them.

“He gives a lot to the team. It is not only the Diego you see on the field. He is a character that greatly encourages the group.”

The pair will have an immediate opportunity of a reunion this week though, as although Costa will of course be in the stands for Atleti’s Champions League tie with Chelsea, he’s expected to be in attendance at the Wanda Metropolitano to see his former teammates in action.

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