Diego Costa is often the pantomime villain. It is fair to say that he plays on the edge. And the very best players often do, one moment away from a flash of brilliance or a moment of madness.
Diego Costa was always going to be the perfect striker for the Premier League though. It is a notoriously difficult league for strikers, especially when they are playing up front on their own. A unique mix of strength and skill is required, and Diego Costa has both in abundance.
But it is this controversy that often surrounds him that really detracts from people’s opinions of how good he actually is. And there have been so many incidents now that you lose count. But Costa thrives on this, and it gives him an edge. He turns his battle with defenders into a fight, he makes them angry and it takes their minds off of their game.
This allows him to gain an advantage. Fair? Possibly not. Effective, yes. As a result, it also affects the opinions of fans. When they see him elbowing, punching, spitting and tackling recklessly, they are unlikely to hold him in very high regard.
It has perhaps never been summed up better than when Spanish Football expert Sid Lowe said:
Learn the full report on next page.