The Spanish Football Federation have made an approach to FIFA about calling up Brazilian born Diego Costa for their national team.
If there was one nation in world football you would not guess were considering trying to convince somebody to switch allegiance, it would be Spain. With the plethora of talent currently coursing through the Spanish football system the deal that they would be appealing to FIFA to have a Brazilian’s citizenship approved would be a surprise.
But that is exactly what is happening with Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa. The forward, who was the subject of a bid from Liverpool this summer, has had a stunning start to this campaign - scoring seven goals in six La Liga games.
With that in mind Spain want him to play for them, something he himself is not averse to:
"If Del Bosque calls me up, how could I say no?" Costa told Brazilian site Lance! "I am going to choose the national team with which I feel most comfortable, I am not going to be false. I am relaxed and if the offer comes one day, then I will think about it."
Costa has played for Brazil before, in friendlies against Italy and Russia, but was not picked for their most recent round of friendly matches. Players who play in friendlies are entitled to switch national allegiance by precedent - for instance Thiago Motta has played for Brazil and Italy. He does however have Spanish citizenship, after living in the country since he moved to Spain in 2007.
But how must all of this be making the likes of Fernando Torres be feeling. The Spanish coach and hierarchy are effectively saying they would prefer to call up a foreign national - rather than a player with 106 caps for his country.
Torres’ form since moving to Chelsea has been fairly well documented as, up-and-down, and that has been reflected by his recent lack of selection for the Spanish national team.
Now it appears Vicente del Bosque is considering the idea of having Roberto Soldado, Alvaro Negredo, David Villa and Diego Costa as his four front-line strikers at the upcoming World Cup.
And if things couldn’t get worse for the unwanted Chelsea man - rumours are another Brazilian born lad, Leo Baptistao, another forward, could soon switch allegiances to Spain.
All bad news for Torres’ World Cup hopes.
image: © nbabaian