Vicente del Bosque has included Diego Costa in his 24-man squad for Spain's upcoming internationals against England and Belgium, despite the Chelsea striker struggling with a rib issue. Costa's teammates Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Cesar Azpilicueta also feature, alongside Arsenal's Santi Cazorla and Manchester United duo David de Gea and Juan Mata.
Costa suffered a rib problem during the Capital One Cup loss to Stoke City, but recovered sufficiently to play against both Liverpool in the Premier League and the Champions League tie with Dynamo Kiev.
Del Bosque has suggested the Chelsea striker is not at 100% for the games against England on 14 November and Belgium three days later, but feels it is just a minor issue that will not stop him from playing. The news will come as a relief to Blues fans ahead of the match against Stoke City this weekend.
"[Costa] is doing well and starting games for his club. He plays every game. He had a small problem with his rib which gave us a doubt about (calling him) but it doesn't seem to be of any great importance and he can be with us. It is a niggle in the chest area but nothing important so we have opted to bring him," Del Bosque said to a press conference.
Costa has been under heavy scrutiny during his national team appearances, scoring just one goal in nine appearances. Del Bosque dropped the player for the previous two matches – Euro 2016 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine – after the player was suspended for the first game, but also implied that Costa's actions against Arsenal on 19 November were also to blame.
"We made the decision we considered right," Del Bosque said at the time. "But we already thought [about leaving him out of the squad] before [as he was suspended for the first match]. But his ban is not something uplifting. It was not nice. I certainly do not like what he did."
Manchester City's David Silva misses out on the squad due to injury.