Madrid: Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has included Diego Costa in his final 23-man squad for the World Cup finals despite the Brazil-born forward’s recent injury woes.
The striker has been suffering with a series of muscle problems and limped out of last Champions League final early in the first half.
Spain have one more warm-up game on June 7, when Del Bosque can test Costa’s fitness.
If he does not recover sufficiently, Spain can replace him in the squad up to 24 hours before their opening Group B match against Netherlands on June 13 as long as they can prove his injury is serious enough to prevent his participation.
Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal cut six players from his preliminary squad as he named the final 23-man roster.
There was only one surprise as 20-year-old centre back Terence Kongolo kept his place in the squad despite being taken off at halftime on his international against Ecuador last week.
Patrick van Aanholt fell out of contention when he was expected to be chosen as a back up left back.
Experienced midfielder Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out of contention on Wednesday after suffering a calf injury in Portugal.As well as Costa, Del Bosque included fellow forwards Fernando Torres and David Villa, Spain’s record scorer.
There was no place for winger Jesus Navas, who missed the final part of the Premier League season with an ankle injury, or his Manchester City teammate Alvaro Negredo.
Real Madrid fullback Dani Carvajal was also left out, with Del Bosque preferring the more experienced Juanfran of Real’s city rivals Atletico.
Premier League top scorer Luis Suarez was included in Uruguay’s World Cup squad on Saturday despite undergoing knee cartilage surgery nine days ago.
The striker, scorer of 31 goals for Premier League runners-up Liverpool this season, was in coach Oscar Tabarez’s 23-man squad for the finals.
The list was issued by the Uruguayan Football Association (AUF).