FIFA World Cup: Happy to Play for Spain, but Still a Brazilian, Says Diego Costa
Diego Costa is eligible to play for Spain despite having represented Brazil in two friendly games, but the decision by Vicente del Bosque to select him for the national team has not been popular in his homeland Brazil.
Spain's Brazilian born striker Diego Costa has defended his decision to play for his adopted home rather than his homeland in the forthcoming 2014 World Cup finals.
Costa is eligible to play for Spain despite having represented Brazil in two friendly games, but the decision by Vicente del Bosque to select him for the national team has not been popular in his homeland Brazil, reports Xinhua.
Brazil coach Felipe Scolari recently added more fuel to the flames with declarations that if Costa has not chosen Spain, he would have picked him for Brazil.
Speaking to the press in Washington DC ahead of Spain's final warm up game against El Salvador, Costa denied this was the case.
"Scolari never phoned me," he said. "The only coach who spoke to me is Del Bosque, he was worried about me, he invited me out to lunch and made me know he supported me," added the striker, who has no regrets about choosing Spain.
"I am very happy here because they have received me like a brother," he said.
However, Costa's next words also made it clear that although he has chosen to play his football for Spain, his heart still lies with his homeland.
"I am and feel Brazilian and that is never going to change. I am from Sergipe state in the heart of the country and in my home in Madrid I maintain Brazilian customs and that is not going to change."
"I want to win the World Cup for Spain, but if we can't win then I hope Brazil do," said the striker.
Costa's presence in the squad had been placed in doubt by a hamstring injury he has been carrying for the past month and which forced him out of the Champions League final after just nine minutes.
Del Bosque waited until the last moment before taking him, but Costa has taken part in recent training sessions.
"Physically I am all right and I am very motivated to play in the World Cup, I am going to hold nothing back," he confirmed.