Every time Diego Costa touched the ball during Spain’s opening World Cup game against the Netherlands, he was booed by the crowd.
The reason was obvious. The 25-year-old had switched his nationality from Brazilian to Spanish, despite playing twice for the Selecao. To make matters worse for Costa, Spain were hammered 5-1 by the Netherlands at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador.
Costa earned a penalty for La Furia Roja as early as the 26th minute when he went down under a challenge from Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij. Xabi Alonso slotted home the spot-kick with ease, but thereafter the Oranje launched an astonishing comeback.
Manchester United striker Robin van Persie and former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben both scored a brace for the Netherlands, as they destroyed their opponents. Spain are now in danger of crashing out of the World Cup at the group stage.
However, Costa insists that the reigning European and world champions will recover from their defeat to the Dutch and bounce back in their final two group games.
The Atletico Madrid striker, who has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea this summer, has also said that he is “very happy” to be playing in his first World Cup for Spain.
‘Nobody likes to lose and even less in this way but people know that we can't give up because we have lots of possibilities’, Goal.com quotes him as saying.
‘I am very happy and content for my first World Cup’, he added. ‘It's not been the start that I wanted but it is necessary to take the good things [from the situation].
‘I will give everything for this shirt. If we are all united together, we can advance the cause and make people as happy as before’.
Spain’s next game in Group B is against Chile on Wednesday. If Vicente del Bosque’s side lose that encounter, then they might just be heading back home.