Vicente Del Bosque has said Diego Costa will start for Spain today in their World Cup warm-up friendly with El Salvador.
The match takes place at DC United’s FedEx Field and is La Roja’s last match before they begin the defence of their trophy against the Netherlands on June 13.
Costa has been recovering from an injury picked up at the end of the season but at a Press conference, Del Bosque confirmed that the Atletico Madrid forward would play against El Salvador, all being well.
“He’ll play. He has trained well and is in very good condition to see how he is after a long time without playing a complete game,” AS reports Del Bosque as saying.
“If we thought it was a risk to play him, then he wouldn’t play. We’d prefer him to play.
“He’s a guy with character, which helps the team a lot, and he has shown enough all year to be here with us.”
Del Bosque was asked for further details about the XI to play the Central Americans and confirmed that the game was a chance for those who missed the Bolivia fixture to get a run out.
As well as Costa, the Atletico and Real Madrid players missed the win in Seville after being given extra rest to account for the Champions League final.
“It’s the second week of work. Against El Salvador we will use the group that has worked less and that wasn’t with us the first week,” Del Bosque continued.
“We are pleased with the performance of everyone and those with discomfort [Costa, Juanfran and Xabi Alonso] are well and they have trained.
“Our concern is to get all 23 players in the best condition to be in the team in the first game. We are a team no matter who plays…[Fernando] Torres or Costa, [Juan] Mata or [David] Silva…we are concerned about injuries of course.”
Del Bosque pointed to the absence of Radamel Falcao and Franck Ribery, who will both miss the tournament, but added that if Spain are similarly affected, they have 24 hours to name a replacement before their first game.
“We have the utmost respect [for El Salvador],” he went on. “We know about them. We know of their conflicts and their changing Coach.”
Del Bosque was pressed on the issue of Spain players conducting transfers while with the national team, particularly David Villa’s move from Atletico to New York City FC, by way of a loan spell at Melbourne City.
“We are concerned about the World Cup, not players’ futures,” he replied.
“David’s case is not exceptional. Many Spaniards have left for foreign Leagues in recent years.
“We don’t worry about it. This happens every year and this is no exception. Their attitude and behaviour is to be thinking about the World Cup.”