Filipe Luis has heaped praise on new team-mate Diego Costa, saying he is better than both Eden Hazard and Neymar.
The Brazil-born forward has returned to the Spanish club three years after departing for Chelsea, where he was part of a team that won two Premier League titles.
And compatriot Luis is thrilled to have him back, having won La Liga with him during his first spell in the capital before joining him at Stamford Bridge during the 2014-15 season.
‘[Costa] is the best I have played with,’ Luis told El Mundo.
‘I have seen [Juan Carlos] Valeron do things nobody could do. Neymar and [Eden] Hazard are amazing talents, but the player who gave me most trophies was Diego Costa.
‘He always scores the opening goal. Because it is one thing to score 30 goals with hat-tricks in easy wins, and another that 20 of those 30 goals are enough to win 1-0. Nobody does that as well as Diego Costa.’
Luis also had positive words to say about Costa’s soon-to-be striking partner Antoine Griezmann, backing the Manchester United target to stay at the club for ‘much longer’.
‘Often players talk when they feel they are not being valued as they deserve. Then they get more attention.
‘He would have had many offers from many teams. A player of his size wants to be up with the biggest in terms of contract and value. And that is fair – as Griezmann is doing great here.
‘In the end, for all the talk about other clubs, he always wanted to stay here and he is still here, happy and liking it.
‘For sure, he can stay much longer. We hope the fans understand this and everything gets back to normal, although he has been scoring goals, and goals cure everything.’