Kurt Zouma has revealed that he personally apologised to Diego Costa after mistakenly calling him a “cheat”.
After Costa was heavily criticised for his overly physical display in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal, Zouma told beIN Sports that his team-mate “likes to cheat a lot”.
The Chelsea defender quickly posted an apology on Twitter and has since spoken to Costa, who is serving a three-game ban for violent conduct after his clash with Laurent Koscielny.
“I spoke to him and said, ‘Sorry, mate’ because I didn’t want to say that,” Zouma told the Evening Standard.
“English is not my first language, so I did not mean it. He told me: ‘It’s OK, no problem. I know what you wanted to say’.
“I didn’t remember what I said and I didn’t expect it to come out like it did. It was a mistake and I am really sorry for it. It is my second year in England and my English is not perfect. Everybody can do mistakes. This day, I did.
“I never thought Diego is a cheat. He is a friend. I like this guy. On the pitch he gives everything for the club and the team. I hope he will continue like this. He should not change.
“Diego is a really nice guy. People just don’t see it. He is clever because he likes to put a guy off his game, so he loses control. Diego knows what he has to do.
“In training he jokes a lot. He is so friendly. Diego is the craziest guy in the club. He is too funny. Everybody is very happy to have Diego in the team.”