England captain Wayne Rooney has spoken of his admiration for Diego Costa and the Chelsea FC striker’s fighting spirit, revealing that he voted for the Spain international for last year’s PFA Player of the Year

 

Diego Costa has made some new enemies in his time in England, but Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney is certainly not one of them. The former Everton striker revealed his admiration for Costa, and also that he voted for the Chelsea FC striker in last year’s PFA Player of the Year ballot.

England are scheduled to face Spain in a high-profile friendly on Friday evening, and the two strikers are almost certain to play some part in the encounter, even if they have to settle for a place on the bench to start the game.

Rooney believes fighting spirit is part of Diego Costa’s make-up as a footballer

The Manchester United captain believes that Diego Costa is unlikely to change his ways despite the criticism that has come his way since his arrival in England. The Brazil-born Spain international has already been given two retrospective bans in less than two seasons, while also receiving a one-match suspension last season for picking up five yellow cards.

Rooney said of the Spain striker (via Sky Sports): “I actually voted for him as player of the year last season because I think he was a huge player for Chelsea. I think what Chelsea missed the season before was that fight up front and he gave them that and I strongly believe that’s why they became champions.

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“Obviously it hasn’t gone as well as it did last season for him but I think he is a fantastic player. He’s a fighter and I think that’s part of his game, and it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to ask him not to do that. I feel that’s in him — that fight. He thrives on that and that gets his team-mates going as well.”

Street-fighter attitude reminiscent of Rooney’s early days

When Wayne Rooney burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old with Everton, the thing that stood out most about him was his absolute fearlessness. The teenager also had a reputation for being short-tempered and having an edge about his game — something he has arguably lost as time went by.

The vitality and spark that characterised his sheer genius is now missing from his game, and it is difficult not to wonder whether that has something to do with the Manchester United man becoming a tamer version of himself over the years.

Diego Costa is unlikely to change his ways however, and that could well prevent an anti-climactic end to his time at Chelsea FC.