Diego Costa has had a rough 2018/2019 season back at Atletico Madrid, and his frustrations appeared to boiled over on Saturday against Barcelona.
After failing to receive a free kick, Costa ran over to the match official Jesús Gil Manzano and began to shout at him. Per AS in Spain, there’s disagreement over what Costa actually said, but Manzano said in his match report that Costa used some pretty harsh language – to put it nicely – at him, necessitating the red card.
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According to the AS report, if La Liga follows the letter of its laws, if someone uses “insulting or offensive language” at any of the referees, they could be handed a four to 12 match ban. With just seven games remaining, it could see Costa’s season end prematurely. In addition, Costa grabbed the arm of Manzano on multiple occasions to try and pursuade Manzano to not give his teammates yellow cards. Grabbing an official could also lead to a four to 12 game ban.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s an ignominious end of the season for Costa. He’s scored just two goals in 16 games (14 starts) in La Liga this season, and he’s being overtaken by new signing Alvaro Morata up top for both club and country.
Costa hasn’t been the same since his spat with former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was revealed, which led Costa to miss six months of soccer while waiting for a transfer away from Chelsea in 2017. He received the move he wanted to Atletico Madrid, but it hasn’t come off as well as he played at Chelsea or Atletico Madrid before that. The 30-year-old may be wondering if he’ll still be able to get one last big contract before he retires.