Douglas Costa is a wonderful football player, watch him, study him and it is like witnessing Garrincha from the 1950s play with the ball. He zips in and out, runs fast, dribbles fearless like Lionel Messi circa 2010 and has one of the fastest thinking heads in football so why isn’t he a household name? This past weekend answered that.
The truth is for every chance, turn on the ball and making world class defenders look silly there is the other side. A player that kicks out, that uses his head and that spits point blank into the face of the opposition.
Quite rightly Costa was sent off at the weekend for Juventus a team who officially bought him this season after a loan period from Bayern Munich. The reason? Was all of the above. Against Sassuolo’s Frederico Di Francesco starting a long running feud where Costa elbowed and then headbutted the player. Incredibly that wasn’t enough for Costa to get a red card, he had somehow gotten away with it, but then the two players came face to face exchanged words and that is when Costa went for the triple whammy and spat in his face from a few inches out. Now the referee had no other choice but to send him off.
The question now is will Costa face a lengthy ban? There have been calls to add 3 more games to the normal ban and make it 6, with some even believing that he should receive a 10 game suspension. What is clear is that Juventus manager Max Allegri has confirmed that Costa will receive a big fine for what he has done. Another question must be posed and that is what did Di Francesco say to Costa for the Brazilian to act in such a way. Was it simply tackles and fouls that led Costa to act like this or was it something else? Of course no matter what it was Costa’s reaction was and will always be inexcusable.
For a player that is now 28 years of age he has played less than 30 games for Brazil and seldom gets picked for the big games. And this is the real tragedy of Costa’s career so far because he really is that good when he is on his game. Witness when at this summers World Cup he was manager Tite’s secret weapon and was finally brought on when Neymar’s skills had stalled against Belgium in the quarter finals. With Brazil 2-0 down he dazzled on the right wing and the Belgians could simply not handle him. Before long it was 2-1, and they almost made a comeback before running out of gas. But still Costa had made a huge difference, and was the only player in yellow that night thinking outside of the box.
Why was it then that Tite did not deploy him and make him a regular instead of warming the bench? Hopefully this isn’t the answer but it could be that he knew Costa had this anger inside him that could come to the forefront in pressured environment like the World Cup knock out games.
Costa reminds one of other super talented Brazilians that couldn’t keep their emotions in check and whose careers suffered because of it. Edmundo in the 1990s again in Italy for Fiorentina was simply breath-taking on the eye but collected his fair share of red cards, Denilson who was all set to be the worlds best player could not live up to the hype and then there was the many troubles of Adriano. Costa still has time to turn it around and it would be a sad loss if he was to follow these other players reputations after the abundance of skill that he has born into those two feet.