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Spain squad: Juan Mata and Diego Costa return for Euro 2016 qualifiers

Manchester United's Mata is 'doing well,' Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has said.

Juan Mata and Diego Costa are back in the Spain national squad for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Slovakia and Macedonia.

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is also included, despite not having played a minute of competitive football so far this season amid ongoing transfer speculation.

United...

La Liga, union agree to play games over Christmas period for first time

The ESPN FC panel debate who will score more goals in La Liga, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?
Get up to speed with all the key facts and figures ahead of the opening weekend in Spain with 5 things you need to know.

Spanish league president Javier Tebas says he is happy that the country's players' union have agreed a late calendar change which will see a round of games played during the Christmas period.

Since 1990, La Liga teams have always had a two-week "winter break" which allows players a midseason rest to recharge their batteries, and also lets non-Spaniards travel to spend the holiday period with their families in their home countries.

However, this break will be cut short in 2015 because of a deal between...

Chelsea striker Diego Costa won't rule out return to Brazilian league

Spain and Italy were drawn together as the qualifying groups of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia were decided.
The ESPN FC crew examine Brazil's squad for their September friendlies in the United States and discuss whether or not Dunga was right to omit Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho.

Diego Costa would like to go back and play club football in Brazil before his career ends despite switching his international allegiance to Spain, the Chelsea striker has told ESPN.

Brazil-born Costa made two friendly appearances for La Canarinha, before surprisingly declaring for Spain and representing his new nation at last summer's World Cup in his home country.

Despite the controversy that caused in his homeland, the former Atletico Madrid centre-forward has told ESPN Brazil that he still...

Vicente Del Bosque concerned La Liga season will disrupt Spain at Euro 2016

The ESPN FC panel discuss who could possibly succeed Messi and Ronaldo, whether or not Pedro and Otamendi will make United title challengers and the crew is joined by a special guest.

Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has been drawn into the institutional row over the 2015-16 La Liga calendar, saying moving the final game of the season back a week will damage the national team's chances at Euro 2016.

The Spanish government this week intervened to move around the fixture list which had previously been announced by the Liga (LFP) authorities, with the government having also had to get involved in July when the LFP and RFEF (national federation) had been unable to agree on the date...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

World Cup qualifying draw: Spain land Italy in group stages

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Alejandro Moreno break down the CONCACAF and UEFA World Cup qualifying draws.
ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Steve Nicol break down Scotland's World Cup qualifying group, where they'll meet an old frenemy in England.
Sepp Blatter has arrived in Russia ahead of the preliminary 2018 World Cup draw.
The U.N.'s Special Adviser for Sport believes Blatter should receive recognition for the positive aspects of his tenure.

The draw for the preliminary stages of the 2018 World Cup has been taken with France taking on Netherlands, Spain and Italy drawn in the same group and England finding themselves placed with Scotland.

Germany will start defending their World Cup title in a six-team UEFA pool where the Czech Republic seems the biggest barrier to advancing as group winners.

"I'm happy that we won't play against France or Italy," said former German international and current team official Oliver Bierhoff.

Italy, the...