By DAN KARELL
La Liga’s top scorer Diego Costa is now the subject of an international tug-of-war over his future national team services.
After declaring earlier this month that Costa preferred to throw his lot in with the Spanish National Team, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) stated in an official letter to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) that Brazil and head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari plan on calling up the Atletico Madrid star for the November FIFA dates.
The 25-year-old moved to Portugal when he was 17-years old and has lived in Spain since 2007, making him eligible to represent La Roja, despite having played for Brazil in two friendly matches last March. If both Spain and Brazil call up Diego Costa in November, the nations will leave the conflict to FIFA, though with the amount of time that could take in terms of legal proceedings could force Costa to miss the World Cup for both countries.
In eight league matches so far for Atletico, Costa has scored ten goals, including seven in the last five games.
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SCHWEINSTEIGER SET TO EARN 100TH CAP
Decorated German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to earn a new achievement when he takes the field for the German National Team on Tuesday.
Assuming he plays, Schweinsteiger will become the eighth player to earn 100 caps for Die Mannschaft, joining club teammate Philipp Lahm and international teammates Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski as active players on the century list. The Bayern Munich leader earned his first national team cap on June 6, 2004 in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Hungary, and has been a mainstay in the side ever since.
“(One) hundred caps is a number that fills me with pride. It’s very special because it can’t be taken for granted. And I hope I play lots more internationals after this,” Schweinsteiger told Bayern Munich’s website.
The 29-year-old holding midfielder who has been with Bayern Munich since joining as a youth player in 1998 has won numerous titles with his club but hasn’t been able to find the winning formula with the national team, finishing in second at the 2008 Euros and third place at each of the last two World Cups and Euro 2012.
REAL MADRID PRESIDENT HINTS AT FUTURE FALCAO SIGNING
Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez enjoys flexing his muscle when talking about potential signings, so his most recent comments about AS Monaco forward Radamel Falcao must be taken with a bit of skepticism.
Speaking on a Spanish sports talk show “Punto Pelota” on Monday evening, Perez said that he anything was possible in reference to Real Madrid signing the Colombian National Team star, though Perez did rule out the club signing Falcao in January.
“He won’t come in January but in June, who knows?” Perez said on the program, via The Guardian. “Nothing is impossible and there is a lot of time between now and then. Falcao is a great player and I am aware that he wants to play for Madrid. I am aware of that, but it’s normal. They told me.”
Falcao was subject to nearly a year-long transfer saga, with plenty of fans around the globe speculating where his next move would be after another stellar season with Atletico Madrid. Though many expected him to move to the crosstown rivals Real Madrid, Falcao instead chose to sign with Ligue 1 club AS Monaco. Falcao has already scored seven goals in nine matches for his new club.
The Guardian report says that Real Madrid would likely have to pay £50 million ($79.6 million) to AS Monaco to sign the 27-year-old.
Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury that’s kept him sidelined since mid-August. (REPORT)
Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen hints that he may need to leave the club, where he is currently captain, in order to have full match fitness for the 2014 World Cup when he surely will suit up in Brazil for Belgium. (REPORT)
Bayern Munich will be without promising winger Xherdan Shaqiri until December after tests confirmed a torn thigh muscle. (REPORT)
Cesare Prandelli wants no distractions next summer in Brazil, as the Italian National Team head coach has announced that he will enforce a ban on social media from his players if not starting soon then certainly during the World Cup. (REPORT)
What do you think of these reports? Do you see Costa resolving his national team situation by November? How important of a player has Schweinsteiger been to the German National Team? Do you believe that Real Madrid would sign Falcao next summer?
Share your thoughts below.