Diego Costa: 'My challenges are strong but noble... I've never caused a bad injury to any player,' says controversial Chelsea striker

'I consider myself a player who fights and gives everything on the pitch'

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The Independent Football

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has defended his aggressive style of play, arguing that although he does like to wind opponents up, he has never tried to intentionally injure another professional player.

The Spanish striker has just finished a three-game ban he received for stamping on Liverpool defender Emre Can - though some argue he only stood on him - and has been involved in a series of altercations throughout the season.

Costa, who will return to the Chelsea team for the match against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday after missing matches against Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton, admitted he likes to wind players up to prove a reaction.

Asked if he has the mentality of a street footballer, Costa told Sport magazine: "It depends on the point of view. 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 bottom line 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."

Diego Can was banned for three matches after clashing with Emre Can

Costa also said that in the Premier League he is getting kicked more than ever.

"Yes, I am getting used to getting kicked more than before. Premier League defenders are really strong and physical.

"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."