The origins of the 'antihero' can be found in Homer's Thersites. Essentially, Archilochus subverted traditional values. The troupe was carried on throughout literature, famously being used in Huckleberry Finn, the first American nursey to feature an anti-hero.
An anti-hero is a protagonist that lacks characteristics that would make him a traditional hero. An alienated figure, but so often success would not be able without them. There are numerous famous examples; Macbeth, Othello, Severus Snape and Jay Gatsby. Our generation's anti-hero is undoubtedly Diego Costa.
Costa's devious ways were once again in full display today as the Athletico Madrid striker crashed into Sevilla's centre-half, challenged him once more, dived, was booked, picked himself up and scored the game's opening goal. It all came in the spaces of two minutes.
Here is the thing about Costa. He is a menace and his conduct infuriates rivals and opposing fans alike. But the man gets results. In his own bastardly, absurdly provocative way, Costa produces time and time again. The ultimate Diego Simeone player. An obvious villain on the field and a reported saint off it.
Tragically flawed, but wonderfully gifted. Modern football's true antihero.