Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque has reacted angrily to a reporter who questioned him about the altercation between Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Jose Mourinho during the Blues' goalless draw at Tottenham Hotspur on 29 November. The Spain international appeared to throw his warm-up bib at the Portuguese manager in injury time, after being an unused substitute despite the absences of both Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao.
Mourinho played down the incident after the game, despite it coming just days after the duo had another bust-up during half-time of the Champions League win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv. Del Bosque had previously criticised Costa's behaviour this season in the aftermath of a tempestuous London derby against Arsenal, when the striker received a three-match ban for shoving his hand in Laurent Koscielny's face.
"His ban is not something uplifting. It was not nice. I certainly do not like what he did," Del Bosque said then.
But asked now by a Spanish reporter about the bib incident, an angry Del Bosque responded (as seen in a video released by AS): "What happened? What happened? He threw the bib [at Mourinho]? He threw the bib but do you know it was towards Mourinho? I do not know if he was angry or not. He took the bib off because he was not going to come on to the pitch."
Del Bosque has insisted repeatedly that Costa remains in his Euro 2016 plans – despite Spanish fans urging him to be left out of the squad as the Chelsea hitman is a poor fit for the national team's tiki-taka philosophy.
Veteran Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz has been tipped as his replacement after an impressive start to the campaign saw him net 20 goals in 23 appearances already this term.
But Del Bosque said, as quoted by AS: "Aduriz is playing great and is currently the top Spanish scorer in La Liga. Very close to him there are others like [Real Sociedad star Imanol] Agirretxe or Lucas [Perez from Deportivo]. Fortunately this year the Spanish strikers are competing with foreigners and that's very good for Spanish football.
"When there is a new call-up Aduriz will either come or not. In the meantime everything is speculation. In March there will be a new call-up but in January or December we can not call up anyone. I'll have to wait."