Costa was banned for three matches by the Football Association following his antics during the Blues’ 2-0 Premier League victory over rivals Arsenal at the weekend.
While the Gunners had two men—Gabriel Paulista and Santi Cazorla—dismissed, it was Costa who was arguably the game’s chief protagonist. The forward sought to antagonise Arsene Wenger’s troops at every occasion, and was largely responsible for Paulista’s somewhat harsh sending off.
The FA have subsequently acted, and opted to ban the Spain forward retrospectively.
Pele, however, has spoken out in defence of the controversial striker.
Speaking to Agence France-Presse at the launch of an exhibition commemorating his career, the Brazil great has insisted that Costa’s antics were commonplace in his day.
“Listen, this to me was so common… I suffered all my life with good marking. He’s a very good player, everybody knows,” the former forward began, as per the Mirror.
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Pele, however, did name one player whose actions had disgusted him, opting to single out former Liverpool forward and current Barcelona hitman Luis Suarez for particular criticism.
“This was one moment,” the legend continued, “the striker who bit someone, Luis Suarez, was worse than this.”