Diego Costa often walks a very thin tightrope during matches.
The Brazil-born Spain international usually allows his temper to get the better of him - and how he’s only been sent off on one occasion during his Chelsea career is nothing short of a miracle.
Costa always plays the same, whether he’s representing his club or his country, and he was incredibly fortunate to avoid a red card while playing for La Roja against Italy on Thursday evening.
The 28-year-old was already on a yellow card after whacking Leonardo Bonucci with his arm in the first half when, in the 66th minute, he responded to being flagged for offside by kicking the ball towards the stands in frustration.
Spain’s head coach Julen Lopetegui must have feared the worst but, incredibly, he avoided a second booking from the German referee Felix Brych.
Video: Reina tells Costa off
Lopetegui responded by immediately sending on Alvaro Morata in place of Costa - and waiting to have a few stern words with the striker on the Spain bench was veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina.
Costa shook hands with his teammates, including Reina, who told the Chelsea star: “He could have sent you off, don't you know?"
Watch the footage, brought to our attention by Marca, here…
Spain drew the match 1-1
Spain were leading 1-0 at the time, thanks to Vitolo’s 55th-minute opener, and Costa could have left his team with 10 men for the remaining 25 minutes of the match.
As it happened, though, Spain failed to secure all three points after Daniele De Rossi equalised from the penalty spot in the 82nd minute.
Big match against Albania on Sunday
After two rounds of matches, Spain currently sit second in Group G, level on points with Italy but two behind Albania.
The 2010 world champions go head-to-head with Albania in Shkoder on Sunday.
Will Diego Costa ever change his ways? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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