Chelsea’s Diego Costa has claimed that he gets a rough ride from opposition defenders and that the treatment he gets leads to his sometimes reckless actions.
The Spain international was the Blues’ marquee arrival over the summer and has played a key role in the Londoners’ rise to the top of the table, smashing 17 goals.
Having recently sat out three games after being banned by the FA for a stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can, Costa has been heavily criticised by many, with most suggesting that his actions have crossed the line.
But the Brazilian-born marksman believes that the treatment he gets from defenders is just as bad as that he dishes out, and that referees should stop overlooking such acts on him:
“I’ve been a target for defenders for a long time, and I am used to getting kicked by them, to get knocked by them.” He told The Guardian.
“I also fight and tackle, even if some defenders complain at the slightest contact.
“To me, you draw a line under all that as soon as the game is over. We shake hands and it is all [left] on the field.
“I think the referees should think about how many times I am hit or kicked before I get angry about it.
“But referees here in England are good enough and professional, and they also understand well and realise what happens out on the pitch. They take that into account.”
Costa shone last season for Atletico Madrid, firing them to La Liga glory and the Champions League Final.