Lucas Paqueta has admitted to “playing dirty” in the Conference League final.

Since joining West Ham, Paqueta has had his fair share of controversial moments. The most obvious is the betting scandal that is still under investigation by the FA. However, he is partial to a bit of foul play in most games. Whether it be theatrical dives, naughty tackles or time wasting, he clearly thrives on getting in the opponent’s head.

While it is extremely obvious it is part of his game, he has singled out one game in particular as the one he did this most in. Understandably, it was in the biggest game of his career so far. 

“In South American football, there’s a lot of craftiness,” the Brazilian explained. “You can use it to help control the game, to control the referee. In the Conference League final there was 4 minutes left so I used everything to my advantage. I played dirty, I held onto the ball, kicked it out.”

As much as fans hate it when opposition players do it, every single team has done it at one point. The fact is, most players would have done exactly the same if their team had just scored a 90th minute winner to bring home a major European trophy.