Football

Rio Ferdinand Sides With Costa After 'Embarrassing' Pepe Collapse

Rio Ferdinand Sides With Costa After 'Embarrassing' Pepe Collapse

One of many talking-points in a whirlwind first-half of football, Rio Ferdinand has criticised the 'embarrassing' Pepe for his reaction to a collision with Spain's Diego Costa.

With Portugal leading their close rivals 1-0 after Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring from the penalty spot, Atletico Madrid's Costa demonstrated the wiliness for which he is famed, and no shortage of footballing brilliance, in grabbing an equaliser for Fernando Hierro's side.

Pre-empted by a collision that admittedly appeared to show Costa putting his arm into Pepe's face, the former Manchester United and England defender was having none of it.

Speaking on the BBC, Ferdinand despaired at the images of Pepe collapsing, urging the former Real Madrid man to 'get up'; highlighting that when he did eventually rise, he clearly was not hurt.

An incident that was referred to VAR, it only took a matter of seconds before the referee came to the decision that the goal should stand.

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This only served to enhance the sense of dismay surrounding Pepe's antics for Ferdinand, and his BBC colleague, Alan Shearer; 'Pepe tried to make the most of it, but he's got to be stronger. I mean, come on, you're a big 6 ft 4 in centre-half, go and clatter him yourself.'

From a defensive point of view, Ferdinand criticised Pepe's positioning; 'He's got to get his body position right and go and attack the ball. He's running backwards, unaware of where Diego Costa, and he exploits that.'

Portugal would later retake the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo after a rare David De Gea mistake.

See Also: Watch: Rio Ferdinand On Ronaldo's 'Carnival' That Made Him 'Best Player In The World'

Arthur James O'Dea

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