Spain international striker Diego Costa has said that he is ready for the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil after overcoming his hamstring injury.
The 25-year-old started La Furia Roja’s final warm-up game against El Salvador in the USA on Saturday.
The Atletico Madrid star had been struggling with a hamstring problem for the past few weeks and was forced to come off the pitch during his side’s Champions League final against Real Madrid last month.
The former Braga man played a prominent role for the reigning world and European champions on Saturday, as he earned them a penalty as early as the third minute. However, Cesc Fabregas failed to convert the spot-kick.
Costa went a bit quiet thereafter, but he burst into life just before the half-hour mark when he forced El Salvador goalkeeper Derby Carrillo into a save. The Atletico forward was denied by the 26-year-old again in the second half, before he was replaced by Xavi.
After the match (which ended in a 2-0 win for Spain), Costa told reporters that he is pleased to have made his comeback and is now looking forward to the World Cup.
‘I think the most important thing was being able to come back and play today, to be able to get past the fear of the injury because it was a complicated injury - an injury that if you don’t let it heal carefully can easily be aggravated’, he said.
‘Thank God, however, I was able to play 70 minutes. I felt good and I am going to work hard to be ready for the World Cup’.
Costa has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea after the World Cup, and the player himself has hinted that he could switch to Stamford Bridge. A late bloomer, the Brazilian-born striker was one of the best players in Europe in the 2013-14 season, scoring 27 goals in La Liga and eight in the Champions League.
Spain will be relying on Costa for their goals at the World Cup, and Chelsea too will hope that their top summer transfer target has a good campaign in Brazil.