A former Blues boss has explained the qualities Atletico Madrid star possesses that bode well for Chelsea trip ahead of Real Madrid match.
On the eve of the Champions League final, where Real Madrid take on Atletico Madrid in a historic climax to Europe's premier club competition on Saturday, May 24 at the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has talked up his excitement at potentially landing an extraordinary fifth title (two as a player, two as a manager).
Ancelotti has great pedigree in the competition having won the trophy twice with AC Milan as a canny midfielder with leadership skills and then twice as a manager, the Italian - still just 54 years of age - could emulate the record-setting achievement of legendary former Liverpool boss Bob Paisley as the only head coaches to have won the competition thrice in a managerial position.
"It will be a good game, I am excited," said Ancelotti, as quoted by Sky Sports. "The great motivation is to be part of the history of this club," he added, in reference to another monumental achievement - if Real win, it will be their tenth celebration as kings of Europe, La Decima.
"To be part of that is bigger than any personal achievement. That is the most important thing. The Champions League has given me a lot already. I have won four, as a player and a manager. But this is about the Decima; the 10th title."
"From the first day I arrived here it was about the Decima, because for Real Madrid this cup is special. I wouldn't call it an obsession. Just a motivation."
Real have been the epitome of entertaining in the tournament, having returned 20 goals in the group stage (ten of which were against Galatasaray home and away), they have also beaten Juventus, FC Schalke (again, hitting them for six in one leg alone), Borussia Dortmund and, most notably, against Bayern Munich, winning 5-0 on aggregate.
Against them, will be their local rivals, Atleti, who have been spearheaded by the talents of Diego Costa, a predatory striker so prolific that he has alerted Chelsea to his services - and a £32m deal is supposedly ready to be agreed and activated when the transfer window reopens for trading.
On the player and his prospective move to the Blues, a former club of Ancelotti's, he said: "Costa is a good player. Really dangerous. Costa, he goes to Chelsea, no? He's a very good player, and he would suit the Chelsea style, the counter-attack. But we will see."
Lethal striker Costa, 25, is valued by transfermarkt.co.uk at £30.8m.
He was recently injured with a thigh muscle strain but has, in La Liga competition alone, been responsible for 32 goals (27 goals and five assists) from 35 appearances, meaning he has either scored or set-up a goal once every 81 minutes on average. He has been even more devastating in the Champions League, scoring eight and assisting twice from eight outings, meaning he has scored or assisted once every 56.7 mintues on average.