Spanish press ramp up pressure for Diego Costa to perform for his nation

National press in Spain have called on Chelsea's newest superstar to replicate his club form on the international stage.

After an abysmal series of performances at the 2014 World Cup, where defending champions Spain lost the crown they won in 2010 after just two matches in Brazil, a scapegoat for the abject displays had to be found - and Brazil-born Spain defector Diego Costa, who was on the cusp of a £32 million transfer from La Liga kings Atletico Madrid to Premier League heavyweights Chelsea, was one of those targeted.

 2014 FIFA World Cup TeamShot accuracyShots / appmins / GoalsGoalsAppsMins
Diego Costa Spain 0% 2.50 0 0 2 126

In two outings, Costa failed to hit the target with any of his shots, despite five attempts on goal in the 126 combined minutes he played at the tournament. These figures are a sharp contrast to how he has performed since moving to England, with 66% of his attempts on goal on target and returning an extraordinary four goals from his first three games as a Blue - an attacking efficiency of a goal scored every 65 minutes.

 2014-15 Premier League TeamShot accuracyShots / appmins / GoalsGoalsAppsMins
Diego Costa Chelsea 66.67% 3.00 65.00 4 3 260

His success at Chelsea has been noted by the Spanish press, who have ramped up the pressure for the box-striker to replicate his club form for his country.

"Diego Costa has received his third call-up for Spain but looks set to play a key role in Vicente del Bosque's plans," reported MARCA. "The Chelsea forward is in great form and a lot is expected of him on the road to the 2016 European Championships.

"It has taken Diego Costa less than a month to prove that his explosion on the big stage at Atletico Madrid was reason enough for Chelsea to come calling and for Mou to make him his main man up front."

The weight of a nation bears down on his shoulders as Spain look to bounce-back from their World Cup woes by defending their European title in two years time but there is little doubting that the physically-adept streetfighter of a forward can stand up to the challenge.

However, Spain must do their part too - and that is to play up to Costa's advantages.

Costa is not a tiki-taki product, and he was able to continue at Chelsea where he left off at Atleti because of the similar footballing creeds shared by respective managers Jose Mourinho and Diego Simeone.

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