If it's possible to single out one player as the best footballer in the world in the first three months of this new season, many would agree that Bayern Munich's Douglas Costa is right at the top of the list. Since arriving from Ukraine, the Brazilian winger has been absolutely spectacular for Pep Guardiola's team, instantly becoming a standout performer and an undisputed starter at the German powerhouse.
His incredible games earned have him a rightful call-up to the Brazilian national team that begins its campaign in the South American qualifiers on Thursday against Chile, and the Seleção will have a huge absence for a huge game: Barcelona superstar Neymar Jr. is banned for the next two matches due to his suspension in the Copa América, and the responsibility of replacing the captain falls naturally on the shoulders of Costa because of his sensational form.
After arriving in Chile, Costa spoke to the press about the issue, and he is not looking to do Neymar's job, because that's an impossible job, in his opinion. Instead, Douglas wants to be himself, which seems like a pretty good idea right now. He also spoke about working with Blaugrana legend Guardiola. Here's a few highlights:
"I'm not the new Neymar and I will not need to replace him. You cannot replace Neymar. What I must do is complete my work and the orders of the coach in the best way. Any team in the world would miss him, but we have to overcome it."
"I have only worked with Guardiola for three months but it feels like longer. I get along very well with him and I see this happening with all my team-mates. We understand his ideas and his methods very well. It's great working with my teammates and with Guardiola's style. It makes you feel good in the team."