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Costa receives Spain call-up

7 November 2013 18:10

Brazilian-born Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa has been called up to Spain's squad for the first time.

Costa's international future was the subject of much debate, with Spain and Brazil both eager for the prolific frontman to pledge his allegiance to them.

The 25-year-old has dual-nationality, having lived in Spain for over five years, and he recently stated a desire to represent the world and European champions.

And Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has now wasted no time in including Costa in his squad for the friendlies against Equatorial Guinea and South Africa later this month.

News of Costa's inclusion was announced on the official Twitter account for Spain's national football team.

Costa has been outstanding for Atletico this season, scoring 16 goals in all competitions to aid a superb start for Diego Simeone's men in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.

Fellow striker Alvaro Negredo has also been called up on the back of his impressive form for Manchester City, while Juan Mata is included despite being in and out of the Chelsea side since Jose Mourinho's arrival at Stamford Bridge.

Costa's Atletico team-mate David Villa is also part of the squad, but there is no place for Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado.

Fit-again midfield trio Xabi Alonso, Santi Cazorla and Javi Martinez return, but defender Gerard Pique, currently struggling with a groin injury, is absent and his Barcelona team-mate Xavi has been rested.

Spain face Equatorial Guinea on November 16 and South Africa three days later.

Spain squad :

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), Victor Valdes (Barcelona).

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa, Sergio Ramos (both Real Madrid), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad), Nacho Monreal (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas (all Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), Juan Mata (Chelsea).

Forwards: Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Pedro (Barcelona), David Villa, Diego Costa (both Atletico Madrid).

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