London - Troublesome Chelsea striker Diego Costa would have been considered a petty criminal rather than a master villain in the 1950s and 1960s, according to Brazil great Pele.
Costa, who was born in Brazil but opted to represent Spain at international level, has been banned for three games for twice hitting Laurent Koscielny during Chelsea's 2-0 defeat of Arsenal last weekend.
It is not the first time the snarling centre-forward has fallen foul of the football authorities, but Pele, famously kicked out of the 1966 World Cup by Portugal's Joao Morais, said Costa's crimes were nothing compared to the punishments meted out to him during his extraordinary career.
"Listen, this to me was so common," a smiling Pele told AFP.
"I suffered all my life with good marking. He's a very good player, everybody knows.
"This was one moment. The striker who bit someone, Luis Suarez, was worse than this."