Douglas Costa is back for his second spell at Bayern Munich after spending two years with the club from 2015 to 2017. - © imago images
Douglas Costa is back for his second spell at Bayern Munich after spending two years with the club from 2015 to 2017. - © imago images

Douglas Costa: 5 things on Bayern Munich's returning wing wizard


Douglas Costa is back at Bayern Munich for a second spell with the UEFA Champions League winners and German titleholders after starring alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus. takes a closer look at Bayern's returning Brazil international.

1) Back to Bayern

"A dream has come true for me today," said Costa. Not on Monday when he re-joined Bayern, but five years ago when…he joined Bayern the first time.

"Douglas Costa will be good for our team," said Bayern's then-sporting director Matthias Sammer when asked to describe the new arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk. "He has great technical ability, a powerful left foot, he is very agile and extremely quick."

The Brazil international proved his boss right. In his first season, Costa hit four goals and tallied a team-high nine assists - only four players had more league-wide - in 27 Bundesliga games under Pep Guardiola.

With Carlo Ancelotti in charge the following season, he struggled for game-time when Franck Ribery returned to fitness, but eventually finished with 14 goals and 27 assists in all competitions from his first two seasons in Bayern red. An outstanding return.

2) Move to Italy

Though Ancelotti claimed Costa was "satisfied to be here", the winger headed for Juventus - initially on loan - for the 2017/18 season, making the journey Bayern teammate Kingsley Coman had made in reverse two years earlier.

To say Costa was a hit for the bianconeri is an understatement: he led the league in dribbles and tallied the second-most assists in Serie A in his first season as well as scoring in the Coppa Italia demolition of AC Milan to secure Juve the domestic double.

Douglas Costa has been racing down the wings in Italy since his move to Juventus from Bayern Munich. - imago images

Two more scudetti were added to his winner's medal collection over the following two campaigns as Costa played over 100 competitive matches for Juve, scoring 10 goals and recording 21 assists.

3) Shakhtar schooling

After joining Gremio at 11 and making his first-team debut at 18, Costa joined the weighty Brazilian contingent at Shakhtar Donetsk in January 2010. Playing alongside the likes of compatriots Willian and Luiz Adriano as well as former Borussia Dortmund man Henrikh Mkhitaryan, he caught the eye not only for his talent but also his worth ethic.

"In addition to the normal trainings we did at Shakhtar, he had a physical coach and he always worked more after practices," said Luiz Adriano, who played alongside Costa for the full five years the Bayern man spent in Ukraine.

Watch: Douglas Costa's top 5 Bundesliga goals

"Sometimes, even during the cold weather in Ukraine, especially at night, he kept practicing. He practiced during the night, until midnight."

The hard work paid off as he collected five Ukrainian league winner's medals and three Ukrainian cups.

4) Douglas = James

"Douglas can't improve any more with us," said Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu with Costa set to move to Bayern the first time.

"I see him in [Arjen] Robben's position. He's just 24 and can reach Robben's level in the years to come. He's a very strong player, naturally left-footed but can play on the right too. And he is ruthless and unstoppable when cutting in from the wings. He's on the same level as James Rodriguez."

Douglas Costa has taken his game to the next level since leaving Shakhtar Donetsk. - imago images

James, now at Everton, enjoyed a successful two-season loan spell at Bayern between 2017 and 2019, and though Costa is not the same sort of player, Lucescu's comparison in quality stands up.

Not that things have always gone smoothly for him. Costa played just three league games in the second half of the 2018/19 campaign due to a hamstring and calf injuries, leading then-Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri to quip, "I haven't seen him since [he played]. I don't even remember if he's got blonde or dark hair…".

5) Olympic gold miss

Costa comes back to Bayern having swelled his collection of silverware to 15 major winner's medals from his time in Ukraine, Germany and Italy, but there is one significant gong missing.

Douglas Costa has made 31 appearances for Brazil since his debut in 2014. - imago images

When Brazil - with the likes of Neymar and Marquinhos in the team - won Olympic gold on home soil in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Costa must have been sitting at home wondering 'what might have been'.

Injury deprived him of a place in the squad - he was replaced by former Bayer Leverkusen man Renato Augusto - and following Brazil's disappointing 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Costa has yet to win a major international tournament with the Seleçao.