Summer 2014. Diego Costa has arrived for his first day as a Chelsea player and he has something he wants to say to his new team-mates. He's been practising a single, short sentence. Actually, a mission statement.
'I go to war -- you come with me.'
In The Art of War, Fran Guillen retraces every step of Costa's brutal, exhilarating journey: from street footballer in his home city of Lagarto, north-east Brazil, to La Liga winner at Atletico Madrid, through loan spells at Celta Vigo, Albacete, Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano, and finally to Premier League champion with Chelsea in 2015.
Through exclusive interviews with coaches, team-mates, agents and friends, Spanish journalist Guillen uncovers the inside story of Costa's arrival in Portugal as a 17 year old and his move to Atletico Madrid where, under Diego Simeone, the player's goalscoring finally started to eclipse his fearsome reputation and saw his emergence as one of the world's greatest strikers.
Then in 2014 Costa made the shock decision to defect from the Brazilian side and play for Spain in the World Cup. After a disastrous tournament, Costa joined Jose Mourinho's Chelsea and immediately dispelled the ghosts of Brazil by taking the Premier League by storm in an indomitable debut season at Stamford Bridge.
This is an inspiring and insightful portrait of English football's new superstar.
Let's go to war.