Why do referees have such a beef with sweet, sensitive Diego Costa?
Is it cos he’s a filthy, cheating bastard? Probably. But on a purely instinctive, subliminal level (indeed if Simon Schama’s new documentary, The Face of Britain, has taught us anything), they’re also just reacting to his face. Specifically the fact he appears to have purloined it from a Robert Rodriguez villain.
Though only 26, Costa already resembles the 55 year old love child of Luis Guzmán (Cinematic Puerto Rican warthog lookalike who’s made a living far handsomer than he is by playing chubby 70s Latino gangsters) and Danny Trejo (tattooed, stab-happy Mexican gangster who hones his thespian craft portraying tattooed, stab-happy Mexican gangsters).
His hair looks like something which washed up in the aftermath of the BP Deepwater disaster. His eyebrows resemble censor bars, possibly mandated by Ofcom to draw a veil of decency over the scar-strewn site of myriad headbutt-related atrocities. His complexion recalls the arse-churned soil of a long-jump pit and his stygian stubble looks like it could sand Gabriel Paulista’s teeth down to a size which might actually enable them to fit into his mouth.
When refs they see him smile that blameless, driven-snow smile of his they probably think, having somehow wandered onto the set of Once Upon a Time in Mexico, that they’re about to take delivery of a toothpick in the eye and a pool cue up the arse.
I mean obviously the fact they’ve just watched him stamp on someone’s throat probably also informs their reaction to some extent. All I’m saying is if he looked like Santi Cazorla, he’d probably get away with it a bit more.