Vicente del Bosque says Spain ‘have good replacements’ if Costa can’t go
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque is hopeful Diego Costa will recover from a leg muscle injury in time to feature at the World Cup but believes the world and European champions have plenty of backup if he doesn’t make it.
Forward Costa, who plays his club football with Atletico Madrid, has been struggling with a series of niggles in recent weeks and was forced off in the ninth minute of Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.
“He has a muscle injury and we will monitor his development so we can make a last-minute decision,” Del Bosque said on Spanish radio late on Monday.
“We have until June 2 to register the (final) squad of 23 and we don’t need to rush,” he added. “I hope he makes it but we have good replacements.”
If Brazil-born Costa is unable to make the trip to his native country for the finals starting next month, Del Bosque has several players available with a similar profile, including Fernando Torres, Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente.
As well as Costa, winger Jesus Navas and right back Juanfran are injury concerns and Del Bosque has already called up Gerard Deulofeu as cover if Navas does not recover in time.
Spain play a World Cup warmup against Bolivia in Seville on Friday, after which the Real and Atletico players selected for the finals will join up with the squad.
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Published: May 27, 2014 04:00 AM