Barca star blamed for Costa's failings for Spain by La Liga expert

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Guillem Balague believes Barcelona's Andreas Iniesta is not suited to playing with Chelsea's Diego Costa at international level.

Guillem Balague believes that Andreas Iniesta is the reason that Diego Costa is not finding his best form for Spain.

Costa has been a revelation at club level since joining Chelsea, but he has still not been able to reach the same level for his adopted nation and Balague thinks that this is because Iniesta is playing in the midfield.

Iniesta is one of the finest talents to ever play the game, but his desire to build play up from the back rather than look to be direct and play to Costa's strengths is what is stopping the 25-year-old hitting top form, Balague believes.

The Sky Sports pundit feels that the Brazilian born hitman may be better off if his former teammate Koke was given a run in the team, because of the Atletico Madrid man's knowledge of how to get the best out of him. 

"If you want to play for Costa, you have to play much more direct, as Spain did for the 15 minutes before he came off against tired Luxembourg defenders," he wrote on Sky Sports' website

"But Andres Iniesta was not on the pitch for those minutes and while people are saying Koke may be the problem, I see Iniesta as the problem.

"He belongs to the other mentality of building from the back, attacking altogether and recovering the ball high up. Koke is happier being direct, though he can do both styles."

Costa did finally open his account for Spain this week, when he netted against Luxembourg. 

However, one goal in seven caps is a poor record for a striker who has dominated English football since joining in the summer.

Costa already has nine goals in seven games for Chelsea, where he looks to have adapted with ease, but he is still finding his feet for La Roja.

Spain are looking to bounce back from a poor World Cup and Costa is considered one of the key players in the next generation which can return them to greatness.

Even so, dropping Iniesta would mark a major change of era for the nation as he has had great success previously.

Iniesta was one of the key players in the nation's six year spell of dominance at the top of the world game and many would be disappointed to see him dropped.

The 29-year-old still plays a pivotal role for Barca and the biggest task for Vicente Del Bosque may be to work out a formula that works for both Iniesta and Costa in the future.  

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