Atletico Madrid captain Diego Godin praised the returning Diego Costa’s attitude following their 2-0 Champions League win over Juventus.
The Uruguayan centre-back scored his third goal of the season for Atletico to help them seal a key first leg win in their last-16 tie against Juventus on Wednesday following Jose Gimenez’s 78th-minute opener.
Atletico were, arguably, the stronger of the two teams but things at one stage appeared to be heading for a goalless draw after VAR had denied Costa a penalty appeal and later ruled out Alvaro Morata’s goal.
But Gimenez and Godin’s late goals secured the victory and sent manager Diego Simeone into a bizarre celebration in front of the home crowd at the Wanda Metropolitano.
For Godin though, Costa was the player that merited special praise after he made his first start for Atletico since December 2.
The former Chelsea striker had only returned to action last weekend in Atletico’s 1-0 La Liga win at Rayo Vallecano after undergoing surgery on a foot injury in his native Brazil at the end of last year.
“Diego is contagious,” said Godin, according to Marca.
“It’s something that spreads to people and Diego gave his life in the time he spent on the pitch.”
However, Simeone’s side will have to do without Costa for the return leg after his early yellow card means he will be suspended for the encounter at Turin.
The match between Atletico and Juventus on Wednesday was decided on set-pieces in the end, but Godin warns that they still have another 90 minutes left to contend with first.
He added: “Games with so much tension are defined by small details. Today they were set pieces.
“It’s a very good result. We scored twice and they didn’t, but there’s still time to play.
“It’s time to think about the weekend now, but we know there’s still 90 minutes to play in Turin.”
The return leg between Atletico and Juventus will take place on March 12 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin.