Brazil-born forward Costa commits to Spain
MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid's Brazil-born forward Diego Costa has signed a formal letter stating his wish to play for adopted country Spain, ending a tug-of-war between the two powerhouses over the in-form 25-year-old.
"The player communicates in the letter addressed to Julio Cesar Avellada, secretary general of the Brazilian soccer federation (CBF), his wish to be available to the Spanish national team," the Spanish federation (RFEF) said on its website (www.sefutbol.com) on Tuesday.
Top scorer in La Liga this season with 11 goals in 10 appearances, Costa told Spain coach Vicente del Bosque this month that he would be available for the world and European champions if selected.
Del Bosque's Brazil counterpart Luiz Felipe Scolari responded last week by announcing he would call Costa up for next month's matches against Honduras and Chile.
Costa's commitment to Spain on Tuesday prompted an angry reaction from Scolari as he withdrew the player's invitation to take part in the two friendlies in a statement posted on the CBF website (www.cbf.com.br).
"A Brazilian player who refuses to wear the shirt of the Brazilian national side and take part in the World Cup in his own country must automatically be uninvited," Scolari said.
"He is turning his back on the dream of millions, the dream of representing the five-times world champions at the World Cup in Brazil."
The president of the Brazilian soccer federation (CBF), Jose Maria Marin, refused to accept Costa's decision and said at a news conference he would "use every legal means possible" to ensure the player could not represent Spain.
"Brazil is going to fight to the end," he said. "This is not over." Continued...