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Manchester City defensive midfielder Fernandinho is among the best in the world in that position and has won three Premier League titles since arriving in England.
In the Premier League and also in Europe, Fernandinho has come up against a number of tough opponents including the likes of Harry Kane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe – but somehow it is former Chelsea striker Diego Costa that he named as one of the ‘most difficult’ he has ever faced.
“The most difficult players I’ve faced are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe – all of them are so good and they cause a lot of problems to defenders,” he told the Philadelphia Union coach Kleberson in a Q&A session.
“But for me, one of the most difficult guys I’ve faced was Diego Costa when he was with Chelsea. He was in good shape. I hope I can face them again.”
You’d recall that Costa got Fernandinho sent off in 2017 in a bad-tempered game at the Etihad Stadium that saw Fernandinho sent off in injury time for shoving Cesc Fabregas over an advertising hoarding.
In another incident, Costa was treated for a gash in the back of his head after being caught by an elbow from Fernandinho. Before the second half restarted in the same game, Costa waited for his opponent in the tunnel and angrily glared at him before another stormy 45 minutes.
Indeed Diego Costa was a terror to defenders in the Premier League and Blues fans surely miss him.