Brazil-born Diego Costa has said he would find it hard to say no to a call-up to the Spain national squad.
The Atletico Madrid striker Costa was capped twice by Brazil in friendly games in March, but was left out of the squad for the summer’s Confederations Cup campaign. He took Spanish citizenship in July and, having not played a competitive game for his native country, is free to make the switch.
Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) officials have reportedly now prepared the relevant paperwork and expect the formalities to be completed in time for Vicente del Bosque to name Costa in his squad for Spain’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers at home to Belarus and Georgia in early October.
The forward, 24, told La Sexta that he had not yet heard anything official but suggested he would accept an offer to play for the world and European champions.
“I hear rumours, and of course it is an honour that Spain would look at me, but I am not getting too caught up in it,” he said. “Nobody has been in contact with me. How would I say no to a national team coach? I will choose where I would like it best.
“I am privileged if some day I get to choose between these two great national teams,” he said. “Scolari has chosen a team and Spain has its XI. And they have players of the stature of Negredo, Soldado and Villa. Spain has the best players -- it is very difficult.”
Brazil coach Felipe Scolari named his squad for the forthcoming friendlies against South Korea and Zambia on Thursday. Alexandre Pato, now back in Brazil at Corinthians, got the call, as did fellow forwards Jo and Hulk, but there was no place for Costa.
Former Portugal coach Scolari indicated that he did not like the idea of players born in one country committing to another.
Del Bosque is due to name his squad for Spain’s final two World Cup 2014 qualifiers next Friday. He has regularly tried different players including Alvaro Negredo, David Villa, Roberto Soldado, Fernando Llorente and Cesc Fabregas in a central striking role without finding a solution he was completely happy with.
Costawas born in the north-eastern Brazilian province of Sergipe, and joined Atletico Madrid in 2007. After initially being regularly sent out on loan he has blossomed under Diego Simeone and is currently La Liga’s ‘Pichichi’ with seven goals in the season's first six games.