Spain must wait on clearance before calling up striker.
Atletico Madrid’s Brazilian-born striker Diego Costa has made clear his desire to represent Spain, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Thursday.
However, administrative issues mean that he cannot be included in coach Vicente Del Bosque’s squad, due to be named on Friday, for the upcoming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia.
A statement released by the RFEF said that FIFA needed “complementary requisites” before clearing the way for the 24-year-old to change international allegiance, “even though the player has verbally manifested his intention of playing with the Spanish National Team to the Spanish coach.”
Costa was born in Brazil but moved to Spain in 2007, signing for Atletico.
As a result, he is eligible to play for La Roja on residency grounds.
Costa made two appearances for his native country earlier this year in friendlies against Italy and Russia, but he can still represent Spain as he hasn’t played in a competitive match at senior international level.
Brazil cannot tie him down at the moment as they will not play a competitive fixture until hosting the World Cup next year.
The RFEF confirmed that they require “a certificate from the Brazilian Confederation…stating that Diego Costa hasn’t played an official match with the Brazilian National team in any of its categories,” and said that such a request had been made.
It will then be up to a FIFA Commission to validate Costa’s request.
Costa is top of the scorers chart in La Liga alongside Barcelona’s Lionel Messi with eight goals to his name.
The reigning world champions will clinch their place at next year’s finals if they take at least four points from their last two qualifiers.