When it comes to brutal efficiency, Arjen Robben is pretty much the master.
Has any footballer ever perfected a party trick quite like the Bayern Munich legend? You know the one we’re talking about – cut inside, shoot, goal. Robben made a career out of his trademark finisher and what a career it was.
So when the flying Dutchman has advice for you on how to maximise your talents, you’d better sit up and listen.
Fortunately, Douglas Costa did exactly that.
“He’s technically versed, a typical Brazilian,” Robben told Sky Deutschland, via Merkur in 2015 during Costa’s first few weeks at the Allianz Arena.
“But I also have to say, he needs to be careful. Tricks are nice – but they belong in the circus. You should never forget you also have to show some respect for the opponent when you are 3-0 up.”
With seven goals and a remarkable 18 assists in all competitions, that 2015/16 season was perhaps the best of Costa’s career.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk speedster blossomed into what Robben would later label a “special weapon” for a Bayern side that stormed to the Bundesliga title in exhilarating fashion under Pep Guardiola.
And, like the Manchester-based protege, Marcelo Bielsa is a coach who builds his side around those rarest of beasts – exhibitionist footballers capable of producing moments of match-winning magic underpinning their ability with tactical awareness and an impressive team ethic.
Those attributes quickly made Costa one of the first names on a star-studded Bayern Munich team sheet.
And, with JuveLive reporting Leeds United are eyeing an ambitious summer swoop for the Samba star, a perfect blend of technique and tenacity would stand him in good stead in West Yorkshire too.
2015 may feel like a long time ago – with Costa now 30 years of age and struggling for game time since returning for a second spell in Munich from Juventus.
But if Guardiola’s “special weapon” was capable of firing Bayern to Bundesliga glory – fighting off a Kevin De Bruyne-inspired Wolfsburg along the way – the prospect of Costa reigniting his career in Bielsa’s freewheeling Leeds side is a drool-worthy prospect.