Douglas Costa is confident he can help return the LA Galaxy to the pinnacle of American soccer.
LA have won MLS Cup a record five times, alongside four Supporters' Shields and two US Open Cups. But the Galaxy are without a title of any sort since 2014, making the Playoffs just three times in the seven years since.
But from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Chicharito, the Galaxy remain the go-to destination for big stars with huge CVs in Europe. Costa is just the latest in a long line of huge names to come through the club, but he's hoping to be the catalyst for the Galaxy's return to glory.
“I have heard many positive things. So I know that it’s a winning team and has not been winning for some time now," Costa said at a press conference (via MLSsoccer.com). "I take this as a motivator to try something different, and come here to bring LA Galaxy to the top again. Hopefully we’ll build up the path to be a champion.”
Across a glittering career, Costa has turned out for European powerhouses Juventus and Bayern Munich, as well as Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk, and has been part of title-winning sides for all three.
And at international level, the winger has 31 senior caps to his name for Brazil, scoring three times and helping the Seleção to the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2018.
Pedigree and experience are there in abundance. But in recent years, Costa has struggled for consistent fitness and suffered relegation while on loan at Gremio in his homeland last season.
Still, LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney is under no illusions about the level of player he has on his hands with Costa.
“There are levels of good, and he is the top level of good,” he said.
“World-class players mean that typically your efficiency level goes up. You don't need 10 chances to score a goal, maybe you only need three, and that's the quality he brings. It just can make us more efficient on the attacking side, and more dangerous.”
Costa has until February 27 to get up to speed with his new teammates before the LA Galaxy open their 2022 MLS season at home to reigning champions NYCFC.