Del Bosque waits on Costa fitness

27 May 2014 09:17

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will give Diego Costa as long as he can before deciding on whether or not to include the injured Atletico Madrid striker in his World Cup squad.

Costa is suffering from a hamstring tear that is set to sideline him for at least a fortnight and has cast serious doubts on whether he will be part of Spain's title defence in Brazil.

A fully-fit Costa would likely have been a certainty for the World Cup after a stunning season with Atletico, but Del Bosque has said he would like all his players to be fit and ready to train by the time he has to send his final 23-man squad list to FIFA on June 2.

That leaves Costa with little room for manoeuvre, but Del Bosque is ready to be patient with the Brazil-born hitman.

"We don't know any more about Diego Costa than what was in the medical report. He has a muscular injury and we're monitoring his recovery; we will wait until the last minute before making our decision, " Del Bosque told Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

"The other day I said that I would like all the players to be in good condition by June 2, but that doesn't mean that I cannot make an exception.

"We're not doing this on a whim, we have until the second to give the list of 23 and we don't have to rush things. I hope he makes it, but we have good alternatives."

The Spain coach added: "All of the national team squads are difficult to select. We will try to take the best decision for the country."

Costa, who committed his allegiance to Spain last year and made his debut for the reigning world and European champions this March, scored 36 goals in all competitions to help Atletico win their first Primera Division title since 1996 and also reach the Champions League final.

The forward has been struggling with injury for the last few weeks of the season, though, and he limped out of Atletico's final league game against Barcelona the weekend before last with a hamstring problem.

Against expectations, Costa managed to make Atletico's starting line-up for last weekend's Champions League final, but was able to play just nine minutes of the 4-1 defeat before having to be replaced.

Spain play two warm-up matches against Bolivia (May 30) and El Salvador (June 7) before beginning their World Cup campaign against Holland on June 13.

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 08:44