Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been recalled by Spain for the upcoming friendlies against England and Belgium.
Costa was omitted from Vicente del Bosque’s squad for Spain’s final two Euro 2016 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine last month as the defending European champions sealed their berth in France.
Costa was suspended for the Luxembourg match but, even though he would have been available to face Ukraine, Del Bosque opted not to call him up – with the coach denying any suggestion Costa was left out because he was serving a three-game domestic ban with Chelsea for violent conduct.
The 27-year-old forward has now been brought back into the fold, with Del Bosque including him in a 24-man squad to face England in Alicante on November 13 and Belgium four days later in Brussels.
The only uncapped player in the group is Sevilla’s Sergio Rico, who takes one of the three goalkeeping slots alongside Porto veteran Iker Casillas and Manchester United’s David de Gea.
Del Bosque said of Costa at a press conference: “He’s well, playing with his team as a starter, playing all the games. He had a small rib issue that gave us cause for doubt, but we think he can be with us.
“I don’t think it’s anything important and that’s why we’ve brought him in.”
He added of the friendlies against England and Belgium: “They are two top-level teams. England had a great qualification campaign, they have fast players, are strong in defence, have quality in midfield… they could be a contender for Euro 2016.
“Belgium are the number one team in the FIFA rankings, they have been doing good things and have an excellent team.”
Spain squad: Casillas (Porto), De Gea (Manchester United), Rico (Sevilla); Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Gaspar (Villarreal), Pique (Barcelona), Ramos (Real Madrid), Bartra (Barcelona), Alba (Barcelona), Azpilicueta (Chelsea), San Jose (Athletic Bilbao); Koke (Atletico Madrid), Busquets (Barcelona), Fabregas (Chelsea), Cazorla (Arsenal), Isco (Real Madrid), Iniesta (Barcelona), Thiago (Bayern Munich), Mata (Manchester United); Nolito (Celta Vigo), Pedro (Chelsea), Alcacer (Valencia), Morata (Juventus), Costa (Chelsea).
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