The Spanish football federation says Costa, who is of Brazilian origin but also a Spanish national, had “verbally manifested his intention of playing with the national team” to coach Vicente del Bosque on Thursday.
The RFEF said in a statement on its website that Costa will not be selected by Del Bosque for upcoming World Cup qualifying games, however, since the paperwork was not ready.
Speaking to the press ahead this week Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque said this aboit Costa:
“It’s not that we’ve run out of time, it’s a sporting matter. The Federation began the legal procedure as quickly as they could and if anyone’s to blame, it’s the coaches as we didn’t have time beforehand.
He’s not a typical, out-and-out centre-forward; he’s different and he complements those around him. He has been developing his game in Spain since he was 18 and was a very complete player when he joined Atlético de Madrid. He could be very useful for us for his ability to shake off defenders.
We needed to put ourselves in contact with him to deal with the issue; we had a very pleasant chat with him – he’ a very noble, approachable and friendly guy – not at all like the aggressive Diego Costa we see out on the pitch.
We told him that we were interested in calling him for Spain and he said that he wanted to join us. But until he has played for us, he won’t close the door entirely on Brazil. We know how the world works – nobody chooses where they are born but he has the requisites to play for our national team”.
The in-form Atletico striker has been the standout player for the Spanish league co-leaders, with eight goals in seven games overall.
The World Cup champions can qualify for next year’s tournament in Brazil with victories against Belarus and Georgia next week.