Del Bosque calls up Brazil-born Costa for Spain

Thu Nov 7, 2013 2:01pm EST
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By Iain Rogers

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has called Atletico Madrid's Brazil-born forward Diego Costa into his squad for the first time for this month's friendlies away to Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.

Top scorer in La Liga with 13 goals in 12 appearances this season, Costa signed a formal letter last month stating his wish to play for his adopted country and ending a tug-of-war between the world and European champions and Brazil over the 25-year-old.

"He has fulfilled all the requirements to play for Spain and he is on very good form," Del Bosque told a news conference on Thursday at the Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) headquarters outside Madrid.

"I have absolutely no doubt that he will be a squad member like any other," he added.

"The last step in the process was to get to know him personally and he left us with a magnificent impression."

Costa's commitment to Spain angered Del Bosque's Brazil counterpart Luiz Felipe Scolari, who withdrew the player's invitation to play in this month's friendlies against Honduras and Chile and accused Costa of "turning his back on the dream of millions".

He represented Brazil in friendlies against Russia and Italy in March but was left out of the squad for June's Confederations Cup and is not tied to one country until he has played in an official competitive game.

He is the fifth Brazilian-born player to be included in a Spain squad following Heraldo Becerra, Catanha, Donato and most recently Marcos Senna.   Continued...

Spain's coach Vicente del Bosque is seen at the team base in Potchefstroom July 9, 2010 . REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo