Rather than leaving him in the stands for the Champions League, Juventus gave instant forgiveness to Douglas Costa who deserved worse for his spitting shame
Douglas Costa has usually been a well-disciplined player, but a recent spitting and violent conduct incident involving the Sassuolo attacker Federico Di Francesco suggests that the Brazilian needs to reassess his attitude on the pitch. The Juventus-star has subsequently received a four-game ban from Italian league action. But is it enough?
When you give your opponent an elbow, before going on to head-butt him and last but not least, spit right in his face, then four matches are certainly not enough for a suspension. Such acts are not just intolerable in football, they are in fact intolerable anywhere, on any stage.
What Douglas Costa did was shameful and inexplicable, even if Di Francesco indeed said something to provoke him, the response should never be in such brutal way, not when millions of children across the world are watching their idols and learning from them.
Having said that, it is logical that Juventus and Brazil’s national team will give Douglas Costa another chance. If not just for showing good manners and forgiveness, it may well be that the attacker is irreplaceable at the moment. Costa has imposed himself as the best Brazilian right-winger over the past few months, which means that he is head and shoulders the main candidate to start in this position during the upcoming Copa América. Costa has shown that his level is superior to all his competitors, namely Willian. Almost every time he makes an entrance for Brazil, he also makes his presence felt with an instant impact.
Meanwhile, Costa has also been just as important for Juventus, offering his club side lots of pace and an ability to take on opponents in one-on-one situations, before crossing the ball into the penalty area where Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic love to get their tap-ins, like no-one else can.
So to make things clear, Douglas Costa deserved a longer suspension but at the same time, you cannot blame club and country for wanting to take advantage of his services as much as possible, because managers are always under pressure to either show good football or achieve the results, both at the same time.
As a matter of fact, Juventus boss Maximiliano Allegri did not even suspend Douglas Costa for one game. The Brazilian came on as a substitute in the second half against Valencia in UEFA Champions League action. You’d think teams would be more harsh with their players but everybody wants what’s best for the team. There is probably no club in the world that will punish its player at the expense of its own sake, and Juventus as well as Brazil’s national team, are not any different.
It will be interesting to see how Douglas Costa overcomes this tough phase, but it will be vital that he learns from his shameful mistake and does not repeat it ever again. He remains of the best players in the world at his position.