Diego Costa has risked the wrath of Jose Mourinho after claiming he is fit and ready to play for Spain next week.
The Chelsea manager has claimed that Costa is on the verge of a serious injury having struggled with a hamstring problem since arriving at Stamford Bridge in the summer. Costa signed a £150,000-a-week deal to move from Atletico Madrid for £32 million.
Mourinho admitted he took a gamble by starting Costa against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night, but the Brazilian-born striker went on to play 90 minutes. Costa believes that if he can play 90 minutes of Champions League football, he can play for his adopted national team next week.
"I hope I am okay to go with Spain," he told Spanish paper AS.
"If I played 90 minutes it is clear that I am fine.
"I am feeling better all the time, and it is the boss's [Del Bosque's] decision."
Costa's comments are certain to annoy Mourinho, who looked set to take on Del Bosque should the Spain coach choose to call up Costa. The Special One has claimed that Costa has barely trained because of the problem but continued to play him regardless.
Mourinho said last week: "Diego's doing almost nothing. He's just resting and recovering from the tight muscle he has every time he accumulates fatigue.
"I think if he doesn't go to the national team, and stays here for 15 days of treatment, recovering, and making muscle and the other areas around muscle stronger. I think he has perfect chance to be top for Chelsea and the national team.
"If he doesn't have this period, he will be always play one game and the other game he is in trouble. The muscle is in danger of rupturing."
And the 25-year-old's form suggests he is operating freely. Costa has scored an impressive eight goals in his opening six Premier League games including a hat-trick against Swansea City.
He has, so far, been the standout player in the league and is an early favourite to pick up the PFA Player of the Season award. All the signs point towards him being fit for Spain's upcoming qualifiers.
Costa is still establishing himself in the Spanish set up after choosing to play for them over Brazil last season. The current European champions take on Slovakia away from home next Thursday before travelling to Luxembourg.
It is most likely that Spain will not need their strongest squad to win either match, but Del Bosque will be keen to keep the same team together ahead of their title defence in 2016.