Chelsea bad boy Diego Costa claims he is being singled out by opponents and they are exaggerating reactions because of his reputation.
Costa has been a revelation since joining Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in the summer for £32 million, scoring 17 goals in 19 appearances for the club. However, there is also a dark side to the Brazilian-born Spaniard, as he has received a three-game ban for stamping on Liverpool's Emre Can and consistently gets involved in heated exchanges with opposition players.
The culture of English football is far different to that in Spain but the Chelsea man feels he has been on the receiving end of some crunching tackles himself which would warrant red cards back in Spain.
"The bottom line is that sometimes the little things I do on the pitch provoke exaggerated reactions"
"Some of the kicks I suffer in England would be punished with a red card in Spain," he is quoted in the Daily Star as saying.
"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.
Article continues below
"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."
Champions League return
Costa is likely to be back in the line-up for Chelsea's trip to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday in the first-leg of the last-16 of the Champions League.
The two sides met in the quarter-finals of the competition last year where a late Demba Ba goal at Stamford Bridge was enough to put the Blues through on the away goals rule with the sides tied 3-3 on aggregate.
Chelsea have a free weekend after being eliminated in the FA Cup by Bradford City whilst the Parisians host Caen in Ligue 1.
Earlier in the week, PSG manager Laurent Blanc joked that Jose Mourinho was a "genius" for getting the Blues knocked out of the FA Cup, allowing them more time to focus on Tuesday's fixture.
"Jose Mourinho is a genius – he lost a cup game 4-2 and has given himself a week to prepare for our Champions League encounter," said the ex-Manchester United player.
"Imagine the tsunami it would be have been had we lost the same kind of game. We’d have said the Paris coach still didn’t get it. That’s how it is.”