Diego Costa close to Ballon d'Or, claims Simeone

The Atletico Madrid boss claims the Brazilian-born star could soon be recognised as the game's best striker

Diego Simeone believes Diego Costa is close to becoming the the best player in the world.

The Atletico Madrid striker has been in outstanding form this season, scoring 19 times in 20 La Liga games so far and is second top-scorer in Spain, with only Cristiano Ronaldo having scored more.

"Diego Costa is not far from the Ballon d'Or," the 43-year-old Atleti boss told Mundo Deportivo.

"Things are not so bad for him."

Costa has endured a goal drought of late, having failed to score in his previous six games, but Simeone insists that he is unconcerned by his current struggles.

"Hopefully he'll get a goal because we've needed it of late," he continued.

"However, Falcao was like that if I'm not mistaken and passed a similar time without scoring."

Atleti play Rayo Vallecano on Sunday and sit third in La Liga with 51 points from 20 games, two behind Real Madrid, who have played a game more.