Count Costa? Chelsea FC star denies ‘vampire’ bite on opponent (VIDEO)
The £150,000-a-week (US$215,000) striker took umbrage at a tackle from Everton’s Gareth Barry, squaring up to the midfielder before stretching his jaw over his neck like a vampire.
But the Chelsea striker - who could be slapped with a lengthy ban over the incident - has denied making contact with his opponent, saying through a club statement that “he did not bite him at any point during the altercation.”
A club spokesman said: 'Diego spoke to club officials after the game and expressed regret over his reaction to the challenge from... (1/2)— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 12, 2016
...Gareth Barry that led to his red card, but Diego was also very clear that he did not bite him at any point during that altercation.'(2/2)— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 12, 2016
The internet doesn’t seem to care either way about what really happened, though, and the footballer is already being immortalized in the form of online memes and photo-mockups.
Some people have speculated that the ‘non-bite’ may have been a show of affection.
Diego Costa’s actions explained: Why wait? pic.twitter.com/XQvnV289Jx— Bleacher Report UK (@br_uk) March 12, 2016
Harshly, the Spain international has even been compared to Hannibal Lector, the fictional masked cannibal who feasts on the flesh of his victims.
Well, that didn't take long! pic.twitter.com/EdLusdlSOg— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) March 12, 2016
The incident is similar to the infamous World Cup bite involving Barcelona and Uruguay forward Luis Suarez.
Suarez was given a four-month suspension from the game in 2014, after he was caught sinking his teeth into an Italian defender.
Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini fell down on the pitch in apparent agony, clearly outraged at Suarez’s opportunist nibble.
Despite the drama, Chiellini later tweeted that he bore “no feelings of joy, revenge or anger” against his assailant.