I would have played for Brazil in Diego Costa's place - Llorente

The 28-year-old was not surprised by the Atletico Madrid star's decision to play for Spain but admits that, in a similar situation, he would choose the country of his birth
Fernando Llorente says that, if he were in Diego Costa's position, he would have elected to play for Brazil rather than Spain.

The Juventus striker is anticipating even more competition for a place in the national side following the addition of the Atletico Madrid forward, after he earned a call-up for friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.

Llorente, however, would find it hard to turn down the country of his birth.

"Of course, he's had an amazing start to the campaign and the fact that he has chosen to play for Spain puts all of the strikers on full alert," the Juve star told AS. "Now it is much harder to win a place with Spain.

"I wasn't really too surprised, to be honest. He has spent several seasons in Spain and, looking at how our national side is playing, everyone wants to play for Spain and Diego Costa has the possibility of being one of them.

"He's playing at a high level and has decided that he wants to play for Spain.

"For me, personally, I would have chosen my own country if I had been in his place but everyone is entitled to their own opinion."

As he continues to adjust to life at Juventus, the 28-year-old enthused: "I'm delighted to be back with the national team. The past year wasn't easy for me but the change, going to one of the big teams in Italy, has worked out well because it will help me to grow as a player.

"I feel much better now but my best is yet to come. I need a few more games under my belt to get back to my peak."

The former Athletic Bilbao striker then spoke about the emotions of returning to the scene of Spain's World Cup 2010 victory in Johannesburg.

"Being with the national team is always incredible, wherever they play," he stated. "We're all delighted to be here and we all want to put in a good account of ourselves.

"Returning to South Africa is wonderful. As soon as we arrived the memories came flooding back – winning our first World Cup is the greatest thing that has ever happened to us."