Jose Mourinho spent all of last week indirectly pleading with Diego Costa and the Spanish national team by parading in the media how his striker needs the international break off.
“If I played 90 minutes it is clear that I am fine,” Costa told Marca. “I am feeling better all the time, and it is [Del Bosque’s] decision.”
The 25-year-old Brazilian native has scorched the Premier League for eight goals in his first six league appearances, and has made two showings in the Champions League as well. In fact, he’s 499 out of a potential 540 minutes for the Blues in the league.
He clearly hasn’t been hamstrung (see what I did there?) at all thus far, and yet all parties continue to talk about his troublesome quad muscle.
Even Costa himself admitted he’s not 100%, despite declaring his desire to play for his country.
“During the week I am working in an intensive way with the physios, because I have some issues from a while back,” Costa said.
The jockeying for more playing time instead of resting his hamstring will surely enrage Mourinho. The Chelsea boss told media that his striker wasn’t training at all during the week in an effort to remain barely fit enough to play 90 minutes. Even those 90 minutes were a stretch, as Mourinho said Costa could only play one match each week, despite the fixture congestion that most top teams face on a yearly basis.
Costa dismissed the idea that his selection to play for the Spanish national team would cause a rift between Mourinho and Del Bosque, saying, “I do not believe that could happen. I have already had enough with the issue about Brazil. Now I must stay relaxed to be able to work and do things well, with the national team too.”
Spain has Euro qualifiers this international break against Slovakia and Luxembourg in Group C play, which also features Ukraine, Belarus, and Macedonia. First and second place finishers in the groups qualify for the finals in France, while the third place teams fall into a playoff.