Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has finally chosen his national allegiance. He's chosen to play for the Spanish national team.
The Brazilian-born Costa has made his name in Spain, where he has scored 27 goals in 69 appearances for Atletico. The 25-year-old Costa was getting attention from both Spanish and Brazilian national teams as the countries are preparing their squad for the World Cup in Brazil in 2014. Costa has dual citizenship as he was born in Brazil, but has resided in Spain for over five years.
He can still play for Spain as he has only played two friendlies for Brazil earlier this year. Brazilian national team manager Luiz Felipe Scolari wanted to select the striker for their November fixtures against Honduras and Chile, but Costa rejected.
Scolari has expressed his disappointment in Costa's decision. He said: "He has turned his back on the dream of millions, to represent the five-time champions at a World Cup in Brazil."
Meanwhile, Spanish national team manager Vicente Del Bosque has expressed his happiness at Costa's decision. He said: "Yes it is good news. Will the supporters be happy? Why wouldn't they be?"
Costa has sent the necessary documents to the Confederacao Brasileira de Futebol (CBF) to tell them that he intends to play for Spain.
The document read: “This morning, Tuesday Oct. 29, the Spanish-Brazilian player Diego Da Silva Costa, Diego Costa, attended the notary Serrano 30, where he added his signature to a document that manifests his intention to play for the Spanish national football team,”
The Atletico striker spoke of the difficulties he had in making this decision. He told Atletico Madrid's website: "I hope people understand and respect my decision because it has been very difficult.
"It was very difficult to choose between the country where you were born and the country that has given you everything.
"I looked at everything and saw that it was right and best to play for Spain because this is where I have done everything. All that I have in my life was given to me by this country.
"I have a special affection. Here I feel very appreciated for all that I do and I feel the love of the people.
"I have family in Brazil and it is the country where I was born. I hope that God allows me to live there again in the future."
Costa has been in scintillating form as he is La Liga's top goalscorer with 11 goals, three more than both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Del Bosque will most likely select Costa for Spain's fixtures against South Africa and Russia.
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