A prank on Spanish radio has tricked Brazil boss Luiz Felipe Scolari into admitting that he wants Diego Costa in his squad at next summer’s World Cup.
• Duarte: Costa tug-of-war
Costa is currently the subject of an unseemly 'tug of war' between the Brazilian and Spanish football associations, but appears to have decided to stick with his initial decision to switch allegiance from the land of his birth to the country where he now lives and plays for Atletico Madrid.
The saga took another twist on Wednesday night when a member of comedy troupe 'El Group Risa' called Scolari claiming to be Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo, with the conversation broadcast by Spanish radio show 'El Partido de las 12'.
The Selecao boss unwittingly revealed that he was a big fan of Costa’s and would ideally include him in his 23 for the competition.
"If the World Cup was today I would bring him to Brazil," Scolari said. "I like Diego. The first choice is Fred, who is injured at the moment. Diego is the second, and I need to look for a third."
Costa has said that he has made up his mind on his international future, however he cannot reveal it yet. It remains quite possible that the attacker will be selected in squads by both Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque and Scolari ahead of November’s friendly internationals.
"I am going to call up Diego Costa for the pair of games on Nov. 16 and 19 in Miami and Toronto,” Scolari told 'Cerezo'. "We have information that Spain will call him up, but he has played two games for Brazil. I think he will opt for Brazil and not Spain. It is the player’s decision."
The former Chelsea manager said he had not spoken personally to Costa, but had been in touch with the player’s agent Jorge Mendes.
"I did not want to speak with the player," Scolari said. "But I did talk to Jorge and said I wanted to call Diego up for the two games in November, and then decide whether to pick him for the World Cup."