Cologne - Dazzling spectators and playing with an infectious smile, it’s abundantly clear Douglas Costa is thriving on and off the pitch at FC Bayern München.
The Brazilian winger has only been in the Bavarian capital for around six weeks now, but the 24-year-old is already beginning to feel right at home at his new club.
'A fantastic club'
“My first impressions have been great,” Costa told bundesliga.com. “Right now, I’m just enjoying being with the team and getting to know my teammates […] I have to train hard and train well, but I think it’s all going well. It’s a fantastic club.”
Fantastic clubs like Bayern need fantastic players, and Costa is most certainly that. His Bundesliga debut, which yielded a goal and astonishing assist in a 5-0 win over Hamburger SV, will go down as one of the finest in living memory. With 33 matches still to go, the reigning champions remain the team to beat.
'We can achieve a lot'
“We’ve got a good coach and good players,” Costa said modestly. “I’ve enjoyed [working under Pep Guardiola] so far. I’ve noticed that other players have learnt a lot from him. I’m really happy. I think we can achieve a lot together.”
Bayern will be expected to defend their league crown and go at least one better in the UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup after falling at the semi-final hurdle in both competitions last term. With Costa in their ranks, they’re well equipped for the job, even if the Sapucaia do Sul-born star still has much to learn about life in Germany’s top flight.
'A demanding league'
“I don’t know that much about the Bundesliga, but I’ve followed the Brazilian internationals that play here and [former TSG 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder] Roberto Firmino had plenty of good things to say about it,” Costa explained. “It’s tough and you have to keep going until the end. Bayern are always up there, it’s a demanding league.”
After going the distance and winning the Ukrainian Premier League five times in a row with former club FC Shakhtar Donetsk, Costa says he joined record champions Bayern, themselves looking to become the first side in history to win four successive Bundesliga titles, “because they’re best.” Worryingly for the rest of the opposition, they just got even better.