For some time now, the Spanish national team have struggled to boast a reliable striking asset among their ranks for a variety of reasons, even going as far as to pioneer the 4-6-0 formation that won them last year’s Euro 2012.
However, after seeing Fernando Torres’ form curtail, David Villa struggles with injury and even giving Cesc Fabregas his turn up front, Vicente Del Bosque has come upon his solution—a Brazilian.
Diego Costa has been in mercurial form for Atletico Madrid this season, scoring eight times in seven La Liga outings, including the sole finish in this weekend’s 1-0 landmark win over Real Madrid.
A subject of great debate in recent weeks has been whether or not the 24-year-old, who is indeed a Spanish citizen, can and should switch national allegiances for Spain in time for next summer’s World Cup.
Costa has already turned out for the Brazilian national team on two occasions, but could be eligible for La Furia Roja due to the fact that both those appearances came in friendly outings.
With the likes of Neymar, Hulk, Alexandre Pato and Fred forming his attacking line for much of World Cup qualification, Luiz Felipe Scolari has continued to overlook the Atleti forward, fine scoring form or not.
Earlier this week, Costa was reported by Brazilian website Lance! (h/t Goal.com) as saying:
If Del Bosque calls me up, how could I say no? I am going to choose the national team with which I feel most comfortable, I am not going to be false. I am relaxed and if the offer comes one day, then I will think about it.
It would be an honour if Spain looked at me, but I am not thinking about that - I am only focused on the derby on Saturday [against Real Madrid].
For every professional footballer, playing at the World Cup is the pinnacle of their profession and if Costa—with Atletico since his late teens—isn’t getting international recognition with his native Brazil, it’s understandable that he might seek it elsewhere.
Scolari is reported by FourFourTwo as saying that his squad isn’t complete yet and that “any Brazilian player in the world can join the national team in 2014.”
If that is indeed the case, I, and I’m sure many others, will be scrambling to find some loophole in sorting out Selecao citizenship as soon as possible.