Chelsea striker Diego Costa scored his first Spain goal last night as the reigning European champions defeated Luxembourg 4-0 in a Euro 2016 qualifier.
It has ended a tough period for the Brazilian-born striker as a Spanish international as he became the first player in La Roja’s history to fail to find the net in six games after making his international debut.
His form for the national team has been bizarre to say the least, and it goes in stark contrast to the lethal goalscoring form showed over the past 18 months at club level.
After notching 36 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions for Atletico Madrid last season, he has since scored nine Premier League goals in seven starts for new club Chelsea.
Whilst his service at the Blues may differ greatly to what he receives in the Spanish set-up, his style of play remains the same as he adopted a shoot-on-sight policy in a bid to end his international misery.
Despite missing a howler in the first-half – a moment in which he pleaded with the ground to swallow him up – Costa finally grabbed that elusive goal and the immense weight of pressure was lifted.
Here is what the Spanish press had to say about his performance and goal:
“The Chelsea player didn’t take his finger off the trigger all night. He was presented with eight scoring chances to notch his first goal which at times appeared to suffer for a case of over anxiety and short sightedness.
“He moved well, passed well and finally scored with the result already a formality. His shot on the turn, impossible for Joubert to stop, has redeemed him from the title of future goalscorers.”
“The lizard striker finally broke the spell with Spain. It took 514 minutes to score his first goal in Spanish colours and he could remove a weight that was crushing the mind, making him miss what he never usually fails and creating a self-doubt.
“It wasn’t a nice goal, similar to a few he has scored for Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, but it is somewhat liberating and it will calm his mind for the next time he faces the opposition goalkeeper.”
“The tension that had accumulated especially noticed when his teammate (and now leading contender for the post) Alcácer scored his third goal in four games. The rest of the players were to embrace the Valencia man. All but Costa. He hung back, complaining why he hadn’t scored a goal like that. When he finally found the net, no one was left behind – everyone rushed to celebrate his maiden goal."