Tottenham star Dier: Portugal derby more intense than Spurs v Arsenal

Tottenham star Eric Dier names ‘sneaky’ former Chelsea rival Diego Costa as his favourite opponent as he reveals the striker would PINCH him… and says derbies in Portugal are bigger than Arsenal v Spurs

  • Tottenham’s Eric Dier has revealed he enjoyed playing against Diego Costa
  • Dier said the former Chelsea star was ‘sneaky’ and would often ‘pinch you’  
  • He also claimed Sporting Lisbon v Benfica was the fiercest derby he’s played in
  • Speaking on A League of Their Own, he said he feared fans would ‘go after him’  

Tottenham defender Eric Dier has admitted he enjoyed going up against former Chelsea forward Diego Costa – and claimed the controversial Spanish star would sometimes pinch him. 

Speaking as a panellist on Sky show A League of Their Own, the England international called Costa ‘sneaky’ but relished winding him up during London derbies against the Blues. 

Dier played against Costa in ‘The Battle of the Bridge’, one of the most intense derby games in recent memory as Chelsea drew 2-2 with Tottenham in 2016 in dramatic fashion to hand Leicester City the Premier League title. 

Tottenham’s Eric Dier has revealed Diego Costa was his favourite opponent to play against

He said he enjoyed giving stick to ex-Chelsea forward Costa, who he described as ‘sneaky’

Speaking on A League of Their Own, he said the Lisbon Derby was fiercer than Spurs v Arsenal–ntr0%3Frel%3D0%26showinfo%3D1

The game is remembered for having a stunning 12 yellow cards, with Dier picking up one of Tottenham’s nine – which is still a Premier League record for most in a game. 

‘I always had a fun time playing against Diego Costa,’ he told host Romesh Ranganathan, as  fellow panellist Jamie Redknapp asked him if Costa was aggressive.

‘Aggressive, sneaky, he was always trying to do things behind your back – he’d pinch you!’ he added.

 Dier was involved in one of the most fiery derbys in recent memory against Chelsea in 2016

But the defender believes the Lisbon Derby between Sporting and Benfica is the most intense

The 26-year-old has only played for two clubs but has already had experience of some fierce encounters – featuring in the Lisbon derby as well as regular games against rivals Arsenal. 

Dier, who started his career at Sporting Lisbon, has also played for England against the old enemy Germany, but believes the famous derby in Portugal trumps all three because of how passionate the fans are.  

‘The derbies in Portugal are pretty intense,’ he said. 

The Tottenham defender has experienced fierce encounters against London rivals Arsenal 

‘You feel like, if [the supporters] could get on the pitch, that they actually would come after you.’

Dier, who played in both of England’s Nations League games against Iceland and Denmark, is preparing for the start of the new top flight season on Saturday as Spurs face Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.  

A League of Their Own is on Thursdays at 9pm on Sky One and NOW TV 

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