Top Five: Stamps even Diego Costa would struggle to call 'accidental'

Diego Costa 2

After a game in which the Chelsea hitman seemed to take his role with the Blues a little too literally, we look at five shameful stamps from years gone by.

In the past Diego Costa has been compared to Marmite but unless you believe that only supporters of either Chelsea or Atletico Madrid enjoy the yeast-based spread then that sentiment is probably some way off reality.

The Blues star has waged a one-man war against Premier League defences this season and while that has mostly translated into goals – 17 in 25 appearances so far this term – a lot of the time it’s also resulted in acts of cynical brute force.

Jose Mourinho may be happy to defend Costa’s recent attempts to "stamp" his authority all over Liverpool as 'absolutely accidental' in an interview reported by the BBC, but the former Atleti man’s efforts did get us thinking about five other famous incidents involving players keen to make their mark.

Here are five of the most memorable.

1. Alan Shearer

The Newcastle United hero may be a Premier League legend with some 260 top-flight goals to his name but try telling that to Leicester City fans after this particularly unpleasant incident involving then-midfielder and current Bolton boss Neil Lennon back in the mid-90s.

Shearer’s stamp remains unique, however, in that is the only one to ever be administered to someone’s face. Skip to around the 29-second mark to see the collision in all of its glory.

2. Roy Keane

While we’ve no doubt that Keane would have loved nothing more than to take a boot to old rival Shearer back in the Premier League’s golden years, in the end the Irishman had to make do with, the former face of Pizza Hut, Gareth Southgate during a clash between Manchester United and Crystal Palace.

The pair would go on to laugh about the incident while working as pundits for ITV. Actually Southgate was the only one who was laughing – Keane just scowled.

3. Michael Ball

Proof that sometimes even Manchester United were the victims of a major Premier League injustice, this incident came during a heated derby encounter with Manchester City and courtesy of Michael Ball – no, not the chubby musical star, but rather the chubby Sky Blues defender.

With his array of tricks, flicks and flowing locks we’re pretty sure the victim, Cristiano Ronaldo, must have done something to provoke this. Then again, based on the fact Ball aims his boot squarely for the Portuguese star's abs, it may just have been the case that he was jealous of CR7’s muscular physique.

4. Mario Balotelli

While many Liverpool fans will no doubt be praying for a miracle involving the Italian and a move away from Anfield this January, it’s important to remember that Balotelli was not always this bad in the Premier League – sometimes he was even worse.

This downright mental mash-up of Scott Parker’s face is a fine example of the kind of thing Mario used to get up to at the Etihad. But then, he did set up THAT Sergio Aguero goal...

5. Pepe

One from El Clasico for all the European football fans out there, this stamp sees Pepe display the kind of subtlety previously lacking in other incidents of this kind (he once got a ten-game ban for stamping and kicking Getafe’s Francisco Casquero back in 2009).

Answering the old question of how do you stop a player like Lionel Messi, the Portugal international’s solution was sharp and brutal in equal measure and he kind of got away with it.

Are there any famous stamps we have left off the list? Have your say below...

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