Diego Costa says he is sure the Chelsea fans will understand why he had to leave Stamford Bridge.
Costa, 28, has signed for Atletico after passing a medial, although Atletico’s transfer embargo means he cannot play until January.
The two clubs agreed a deal last week with the fee believed to be in the region on £58million. And now Costa, who will be the focus of attention in tonight’s Atletico v Chelsea game, has issued a parting message after Atletico formally announced the deal yesterday.
“Some cycles begin while others end,” the striker said on Facebook. “My cycle at Chelsea began three years ago – three remarkable years in all aspects – and I will never forget it.
“Two championship titles, a Community Shield, 120 matches, 59 goals and 24 assists later this cycle has ended. Not the way I would have wanted – far from it – but the best way possible.
“The wonderful fans of such equally admirable club and all team mates, as well as all clinical, administrative and logistics staff will remain forever in my mind and in my heart.
“Will bring them with me with the certainty that I will always be by their side as well, and I’m sure they will understand the reason why this cycle of mine has now ended – because I could not lose faith in myself. Thank you Chelsea for everything!”
Costa was told by text message that he was not in boss Antonio Conte’s plans for this season and he spent much of August in his native Brazil.
Conte though claimed the Spain striker was told in January that he would not be in his plans for next season, but says he holds no grudges.
“As I’ve said before, I have no problems with Diego. We wish the best for him in the future and the rest of the season,” said Conte.