Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up
NBCSports Header Logo

In less than five months, Diego Costa has become Premier League villain No. 1


Chelsea’s Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa smashes the ball back into the net as he celebrates the opening goal scored by Chelsea’s Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic during the English League Cup semi-final second leg football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on January 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

As we begin, it’s only fair to note that a player’s team has to be very good to ensure his status as a bona fide villain, and Chelsea remains a contender for a treble after its semifinal win over Liverpool in the League Cup.

And it takes a bit of skill for a player to be a worthy public enemy No. 1. With all due respect to Newcastle’s Steven Taylor, dancing around in front of a goalkeeper like soccer’s Sean Avery isn’t enough to be a villain.

Being a world-class embellisher, stamping on several opponents and scoring boat loads of goals, though? Yeah, Diego Costa fits the bill.

[ MATCH RECAP: Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool ]

Chelsea’s striker has quickly become the enemy of the Premier League. First off, he’s very good. The Brazilian-turned-Spanish striker has 17 goals in 19 Premier League appearances and pretty much was the Player of the Week award for the season’s first month.

But more than that, he rages through the filthy, scummy areas of the game with a wealth of talent; He’s a ‘Scumdog Millionaire’. Costa is far from averse to hitting the deck to try and win a fake foul or penalty, something that theoretically cost him when Martin Skrtel’s foul inside the box was deemed a-okay during Tuesday’s second leg of the League Cup semifinal at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Chelsea’s Mourinho candid as usual after win ]

It’s even more than that. Costa stomped on the legs of multiple Liverpool players in Tuesday’s win. Worse than that, he’s proven he’s certainly soft enough to back down when someone actually challenges his toughness.

And those gloves!! The gloves, people!!

It’s clear to us that Diego Costa is the Premier League’s most heinous villain. He’s deadly on the ball and insufferable everywhere else. Name another player in the league as universally despised, and mostly admired, by the opposition. Mario Balotelli? Inconsequential. Wayne Rooney? Please.

No, it’s Diego Costa. He’s heinous. He’s prolific. He’s the Luis Suarez of 2015. And he’s making this season worth watching and hating. Unless you’re a Chelsea supporter.

Follow @NicholasMendola