Fernandinho names former Chelsea forward Diego Costa as ‘most difficult’ opponent

Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has named former Chelsea striker Diego Costa as the ‘most difficult’ opponent he has faced.

Following his arrival to England in 2014 from Atletico Madrid, the 31-year-old proved to be a nuisance to each defence which he came up against every week in the Premier League.

Costa wasn’t just a goalscorer, which saw him net 58 goals in 120 appearances in all competition; the Spaniard based his game by playing on the edge.

Despite picking up 30 yellow cards in his three-and-a-half-years at Chelsea, Costa never saw a straight red in his time at the club. He only picked up one red, a second bookable offence, which was in March 2016 against Everton at Goodison Park.

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One battle the former Chelsea forward had was with City midfielder Fernandinho, which saw the pair clash back in August 2015.

Diego Costa was convinced that the Brazilian had elbowed him in the face, which saw him needing treatment and a bandage.

Tempers flared on the half-time whistle as the ex-Blues striker tried to confront Fernandinho in the tunnel.

But Fernandinho has admitted he would like to face Costa again despite the ‘difficult’ battles they endured against each other.

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“The most difficult players I’ve faced are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe – all of them are so good and they cause a lot of problems to defenders.

“But for me, one of the most difficult guys I’ve faced was Diego Costa when he was at Chelsea. He was in good shape. I hope I can face them again.”

Diego Costa’s time in England came to an end in January 2018 when he departed back to Spain to rejoin Atletico Madrid.