Wolfsburg manager Felix Magath is looking forward to welcoming back with open arms the man he forced out of the club last summer after watching him lift the UEFA Europa League trophy on Wednesday. Brazilian playmaker Diego has spent the last season on loan with Atletico Madrid after falling out with Magath last August.
He stormed out of the team's hotel after learning that he would not be in the side to face Hoffenheim in a Bundesliga fixture, and he was subsequently suspended from the first team and put on the transfer list, ending up at Atletico.
However, Magath is now willing to let bygones be bygones after seeing for himself how valuable the 27-year-old can be, with his starring role in the final against Athletic Bilbao crowned by a late third goal in Atleti's 3-0 win. "All you can do is congratulate him on his fantastic performance," said Magath in the Bild newspaper. "He played an excellent game."
Magath now hopes Diego will return to the northern Germany club to honour his contract and give similar joy to the club's fans. "He has a contract with us from 1 July and, as things stand, I expect him to appear for pre-season training," added Magath. "Our fans can look forward to seeing him again."
Magath acted similarly with Patrick Helmes in the winter after he failed to find an employer after being put on the transfer list. He returned to score ten goals in ten games in the second half of the season and almost burst into the Germany squad for 2012 after Magath suddenly found room for him in his side, only months after dropping him to the youth team and declaring him surplus to requirements.