• Spain's news in English

Brazil's Diego Costa set for Spain call up

AFP · 30 Sep 2013, 11:03

Published: 30 Sep 2013 11:03 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Costa is eligible to play for La Roja on residency grounds having lived in Spain since 2007.

The 24-year-old made two appearances for his native country earlier this year in friendlies against Italy and Russia, but he can still represent Spain as he hasn't played in a competitive match at senior level.

Costa has started the season in fantastic form and his eighth league goal in just seven matches was enough to hand Atletico a memorable 1-0 win over arch city rivals Real Madrid on Saturday.

That goal brought him level with Lionel Messi as La Liga's top goalscorer this season and his return in front of goal has meant Diego Simeone's men have barely missed the departed Radamel Falcao.

"No one has been in contact with me, but how can I say no to a national coach?," Costa told Spanish TV station La Sexta.

"I hear the rumours, but it doesn't keep me awake at night. I am calm, if one day they propose something to me then I will think about it.

"Obviously it is an honour that Spain are watching me, but I am not going to go crazy about it."

Costa's time in Spain hasn't always gone so swimmingly though. After signing for Atletico in 2007 he was farmed out on loan to Celta Vigo, Albacete and Rayo Vallecano.

Indeed he wasn't even a regular in the Atletico side until midway through last season, but he went onto score 20 goals in all competitions, including a strike during the Copa del Rey final as Atletico beat Real Madrid for the first time in 14 years.

However, his on field demeanour has often been condemned and he is currently serving a four-match ban in European competition after being sent-off for headbutting an opponent in Atletico's Europa League match against Czech side Viktoria Plzen last season.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari criticised the potential move last week, claiming the rules regarding eligibility were outdated.

"It is a backward rule. I remember the fifties when (Alfredo) Di Stefano played with Argentina and Spain. The same thing happened with (Jose) Alfatini and (Ferenc) Puskas," he said.

"The day will come when a country will contract 20 players and build a national team."

However, Scolari's reaction has been criticised in Spain with commentators pointing out that the Portugal side he managed in two European Championships and a World Cup also had two naturalised Brazilians in former Barcelona midfielder Deco and Real Madrid defender Pepe.

Centre-forward is one of the few positions in which Del Bosque has struggled to find consistency of selection since the dip in form and injuries suffered by Fernando Torres and David Villa since the 2010 World Cup.

Story continues below…

Indeed, the former Real Madrid coach has more recently opted to play midfielder Cesc Fabregas in a more advanced position.

However, Costa still believes it would be difficult for him to find an automatic place in the starting line-up.

"I am privileged that one day I might be able to choose between two great national teams.

"Scolari has trusted in the squad he has and Spain have their 11 starters. It is more difficult for a player that has never been called up and when you have players of the calibre of (Alvaro) Negredo, (Roberto) Soldado or Villa it is even more so."

Spain face Belarus in Palma on October 11 and Georgia four days later in Albacete knowing that four points will be enough to mathematically guarantee their place at next year's finals.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Halloween weekend: Sunny skies and nightmare traffic
Authorities expect 5.5 million cars to take to the road over the 'puente'. Archive photo: AFP

Spain is set for great weather over the long weekend. But be prepared for nightmare traffic.

Southern Spain will become a desert with global warming
Photo: Steven Stralton / Flickr

Southern Spain will become a desert if global warning continues, scientists have warned.

Eight Spanish films to truely terrify you this Halloween
Photo: Corie Howell / Flickr Creative Commons.

Looking for something to give you goosebumps this Halloween? The Local looks at eight Spanish films that are sure to have you cowering beneath the covers.

Spain's Socialists refuse to go easy on Rajoy once in power
Photo: AFP

Spain's Socialists may have reluctantly decided to let Mariano Rajoy govern again but they will not go easy on the acting conservative premier once he re-takes power, they warned on Thursday.

Spain's Podemos sees golden opportunity in Socialist woes
Pablo Iglesias is ready to step up in opposition. Photo: AFP

As Spain's conservatives prepare to re-take power after 10 months of political limbo, anti-austerity party Podemos has set its sights on replacing the divided Socialists as the main opposition force.

Wildlife ranger accused over decapitated bison in Valencia
The headless corpse of Sauro was found last month. Photo: Carlos Alamo / Reserva de Valdeserrillas

The case of the beheaded bison at a wildlife reserve in Valencia just got a whole lot weirder.

Spain jobless drops below 20% for first time in six years
The unemployed queuing up outside a Madrid job centre. Photo: AFP

Spain's unemployment fell below 20 percent for the first time in six years, official figures showed on Thursday.

'Saints not ghouls' insists Spanish church for Halloween
Suggested outfits from the Bishopric of Cadiz and Ceuta. Photo: Shower of Roses

Spanish bishops are urging good Christian children to forgo zombie, ghost and devil outfits and instead dress up as "saints, virgins and apostles".

Tough road ahead, Spain PM warns before return to power
Rajoy will try and form a government this week. Photo: AFP

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy warned on Wednesday of a tough road ahead as he prepares to take power again at the head of a minority government with little support.

Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available