Football

They're nasty and leave me bruised

Costa insists he gets kicked more often 
in England 
than in Spain

WELCOME TO THE EPL: Diego Costa (above) insists that some defenders would have been sent off for their fouls on him if they were in Spain. PHOTO: CARL RECINE /ACTION IMAGES

Think Diego Costa is the aggressor all the time? The Brazilian-born Spaniard insists he is the victim, too.

"I am getting used to getting kicked more than before. Premier League defenders are really strong and physical," said the Chelsea striker in an interview with UK magazine Sport.

"In England, the referees don't call many fouls, as opposed to Spanish football. Consequently, you must be really strong all through the 90 minutes."

Costa, who has just completed a three-match suspension for stamping on Liverpool's Emre Can, then defended his robust style and insisted that some of the defenders should have been sent off for their fouls on him.

'NOBLE'

Said the 26-year-old: "Some of the kicks I suffer in England would be punished with a red card in Spain.

"My challenges on the ball are strong but noble at the same time.

"If you check my records, you will find out that I've never caused a bad injury to any player.

"The bottomline is that sometimes the little things I do on the pitch provoke exaggerated reactions.

"But if you rewind a bit and go through what they did to me, you may have another point of view.

"I consider myself a player who fights and gives everything on the pitch. Those who know me and appreciate those values understand what I say."

Despite having had a more physical reception, Costa has made a tremendous impact in his debut season in the Premier League and leads the scoring chart with 17 goals from 19 games.

Costa attributed it to "hard work", then also compared Jose Mourinho to Diego Simeone, his former coach at Atletico Madrid, who led them to break the duopoly of Barcelona and Real Madrid by winning last season's Primera Liga title.

Said Costa: "He knows exactly the kind of team he wants to build and the way he wants to play.

"The likes of Cesc Fabregas and Oscar have eased my adaptation (off the pitch) as well as helping me score, too." - Wire Services.

"In England, the referees don’t call many fouls, as opposed to Spanish football. Consequently, you must be really strong all through the 90 minutes."

- Diego Costa