The Atletico Madrid striker is wanted by the current world champions and could switch allegiance, despite having appeared twice for the country of his birth back in MarchBy Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has admitted he could switch allegiance at international level and play for Spain instead of his native Brazil.
The 24-year-old forward is in the finest form of his career and has hit seven goals in six Liga games for Atleti this term, but was left out of the Confederations Cup by Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari in the summer and excluded again from the Selecao squad for the forthcoming friendlies against South Korea and Zambia - even though first-choice frontman Fred is sidelined with an injury.
Costa has appeared just twice for his country (in friendlies against Italy and Russia back in March) and having recently received Spanish citizenship, would still be eligible to turn out for La Roja.
Coach Vicente del Bosque and assistant Toni Grande are unconvinced by their side's striking options with some nine months to go until the World Cup, and the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) have contacted Fifa to negotiate a possible switch.
"If Del Bosque calls me up, how could I say no?" Costa told Brazilian site Lance! "I am going to choose the national team with which I feel most comfortable, I am not going to be false. I am relaxed and if the offer comes one day, then I will think about it."
And he added: "It would be an honour if Spain looked at me, but I am not thinking about that - I am only focused on the derby on Saturday [against Real Madrid]."
Fifa regulations state that a player with dual nationality can change federations if they have not featured in a competitive fixture at ‘A’ international level for their original association.
Brazil, as host nation, have no more competitive fixtures left prior to the World Cup, but Spain meet Belarus and Georgia in their final two qualifying games next month and Del Bosque could use those matches to call up Costa and scupper Scolari's hopes of picking the striker again in future.
"He is very lucky to be able to choose between Spain and Brazil," Atletico team-mate and Spain midfielder Koke told AS. "He is a great player, but we haven't asked him; we will see what he decides."
Meanwhile, Scolari is bemused by Costa's possible Spain switch.
"Fifa is probably going back to the rules of the 1940s, 50s and 60s, when [Sandro] Mazzola played for Brazil and played for Italy. [Alfredo] Di Stefano (Argentina, Colombia and Spain), Preguinho if I am not mistaken, [Ferenc] Puskas (Hungary and Spain).
"In a year or two, a country will probably contract 20 players and make a national team. They can play five, 10, 100 friendlies and in this 101st play an official game and Fifa will recognise it... I find it a little strange."
Del Bosque, meanwhile, will name his squad for the qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia early next month.
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