Diego Costa has been the talk of the whole footballing world this week. Suspended after stepping on Emre Can's ankle in the early stages of Chelsea's victory against Liverpool in midweek, Costa was ruled out of the Blues 1-1 draw against Manchester City and the whole club seems to have taken the decision to heart, snubbing the collective media in what amounts to a masterful club-wide sulk.
Which makes it surprising that a lengthy interview with Costa himself has just fallen out of the sky:
As far as what happened on Tuesday, the main thing is when I get home I can go home and I can go to sleep knowing that I’ve not done anything wrong, because I never meant to do that and it was not on purpose.
That's not to say that he's angry with the FA's decision to suspend him -- he still has to sit out against both Aston Villa and Everton -- he's accepted the ban with what seems like rather more magnanimity than one might have expected after the days-long campaign to excommunicate him. All in all Costa comes off pretty well here.
There's other good stuff here too, but I don't want to steal too much of Jason Burt's thunder. Instead, we'll have to content ourselves with this excerpt (go over and read the whole thing if you want more. You should, because it's excellent):
I’m always loyal, I always go 100 per cent, I always go on the limit but I think the people that think that I am violent player it’s because they interpret football a different way; they see it in a different way. Back in the old days there used to be way more contact and a lot of things that were permitted. These days everyone is looking at it and I don’t think that is good for the game.
I have a go at defenders and they have a go at me. We argue. Whatever happens on the pitch stays on the pitch. After the game I shake hands with the defender. Job done, I go home, he goes home.
I love this, of course, but you have to wonder why this is all coming out now. My guess is that the club is a little sick of the perception around Costa and are rolling out a concentrated campaign to change it ... but no matter why we're getting this interview, it's happy reading for Blues fans.
I'm so glad he plays for us.