Diego Costa committed to Spain
Brazil-born Diego Costa says he has no second thoughts over declaring for Spain and hopes to make his debut for his adopted country as soon as possible.
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Atletico Madrid forward Costa was the subject of a lengthy "tug-of-war" last autumn, with Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque convincing him to switch allegiance to the reigning world champions only for injury to stop him pulling on the Roja jersey during November's international break.
That setback left the issue hanging in the air, and the AS newspaper has reported that injuries to other Brazil centre-forwards have led to coach Luiz Felipe Scolari sending Barcelona's Dani Alves to Costa to ask him to reconsider his decision.
However, Costa told AS that he was sticking with Spain, and hoped to be called up by Del Bosque for the friendly against Italy in Madrid on March 5.
"I hope my name is in there among those that the boss calls up," Costa said. "There has been no change. I already explained that choosing the Spanish 'seleccion' was a very personal decision."
Costa's on-pitch battles with potential teammates in the Spain setup -- most notably Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos -- have brought some concern over possible tensions in the international camp, but the forward insisted there is no lingering discontent.
"That is my way of playing," Costa said. "In games I am not a saint, but against Madrid you can see that I was not looking for any fights. I get on with Ramos better and better all the time. If I have to hit him, I hit him; if he has to hit me, he hits me. But it always stays on the pitch."
The pair will meet again in Sunday's Madrid derby, with Atletico having slipped three points behind new Primera Division leaders Real after last weekend's shock 3-0 reverse at Osasuna.
"I am really looking forward to playing this game," Costa said. "After the game against Osasuna I started straight away to think about it.
"I believe every game is like a final. The result in Pamplona was bad and the 'derbi' is very important. We know that we need to keep winning to stay in the battle [for the title]. If we lose against Madrid it will be difficult, but not impossible. We will fight as if it were the last game."