Chelsea’s controversial forward Diego Costa has been left out of the Spain squad for the country’s upcoming friendly matches, it has been revealed.
Vincente Del Bosque has announced his squad for the forthcoming friendlies against Italy and Romania and the Blues’ hitman’s name is not amongst that of his adopted countrymen. Athletic Bilbao’s Aritz Aduriz, who has scored 17 goals in 28 La Liga appearances so far this season, has been brought in to replace him, despite his advancing age of 35.
Costa elected to play for Spain instead of Brazil, where he was born, as he felt he had more chance of success with the country he qualified to play for after being granted Spanish citizenship in 2013. He also believed that his style of football would better suit the one-time World & European champions as they look to defend their European Championship crown in better style than they did the World Cup in 2014.
Costa has recently been charged for his behaviour during his side’s 2-0 loss to Everton in the quarter-final of the FA Cup at Goodison Park. Costa was sent off for a second bookable offence towards the end of the match and appeared to bite Gareth Barry, the Everton midfielder, as the two players had a coming together. Both players denied that a bite occurred.
Chelsea’s interim manager, Guus Hiddink, said on Friday that Costa has a slight injury to a tendon in his hip muscle that would have made him unavailable for the international matches anyway, though it is not believed to be the reason that Del Bosque decided not to call him up for the friendlies.
Six Premier League players feature in the Spanish squad, with Manchester United’s David De Gea earning a cap after his brilliant displays in recent weeks. His team-mate Juan Mata has also been called up, as has Manchester City’s David Silva. There are also three Chelsea players in the squad, with Costa’s club team-mates Cesar Azpilicueta, Cesc Fabregas and Pedro, the former Barcelona winger, all gaining international caps.
Spain will Italy in Udine on March 24th and will then face Romania in the city of Cluj on March 27th, though they will do so without the assistance of Chelsea’s 27-year-old top-scorer.