Spain choose to select Costa

Spain have named their final 23-man World Cup squad, and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has been included.

Last Updated: 31/05/14 at 13:03 Post Comment

Diego Costa: Selected despite carrying a hamstring injury

Diego Costa: Selected despite carrying a hamstring injury

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Costa has been nursing a niggling hamstring complaint which limited his involvement in the latter stages of Atletico's successful La Liga title bid and their UEFA Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

Having lasted just nine minutes of the European tussle with derby foes Real in Lisbon, it was feared that the Brazil-born frontman would be forced to sit out a trip to his homeland this summer.

Defending champions Spain have, however, decided to take a risk on his fitness as his presence could be crucial if he can shake off a knock.

Head coach Vicente del Bosque has ensured that he is well covered in the striking department, though, by also calling upon experienced pair Fernando Torres and David Villa.

Torres has not enjoyed the best of times at Chelsea, while Villa has been in and out at Atletico, but they have over 200 caps between them and 93 international goals.

With that kind of firepower, and with the likes of Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Xabi Alonso pulling the strings, Spain will be expected to go close again as they chase down success at a fourth successive tournament.

Among those hoping there will be further celebrations in South America are Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta - as they get their first taste of football's showpiece event.

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla, Manchester City's David Silva and Manchester United's Juan Mata complete the Premier League contingent, with City pair Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo overlooked.

Spain's 23-man squad for the 2014 World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Pepe Reina (Napoli), David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona)

Midfielders: Xavi (Barcelona), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: David Silva (Manchester City), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid), Fernando Torres (Chelsea), Pedro (Barcelona), Juan Mata (Manchester United), David Villa (Atletico Madrid)

And Javi Martinez, who is also very comfortable at centre back. So another way of looking at it would be "8 defenders - plenty of cover in the event of injuries"...
- andylfc

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