Curitiba: If Spain decide to tinker with the possession-based system that has given it so much success, striker Diego Costa is ready.
Even if the World Cup champions don’t change their style, that suits the Brazilian-born forward just fine too.
Costa said Tuesday he has fully recovered from a nagging hamstring injury that dogged him over the close of the club season and is ready to seize his chance for the defending champions in his native Brazil.
He just needs coach Vicente del Bosque to give him the chance, starting with the Group B opener against the Netherlands on Friday.
Costa came through a fitness test against El Salvador last weekend having suffered recurring hamstring problems in the latter stages of the season. He played most of the friendly and suffered no ill-effects.
“I needed that game to get rid of the fear that I might suffer another injury. The last two times I felt fine, then played and had a repeat of the injury. Now though I feel a lot better,” said Costa.
“Every day I feel better. I’m very motivated, I think I’m 100 per cent fit and ready,” said Costa. “I can’t wait for the competition to start.”
Costa scored 36 goals in all competitions for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid but is yet to make an impact for Spain.
Costa’s ability to exploit space plus his on-field grit provides Spain with a physical complement to their slick combination passing game generated from midfield.
Whether Del Bosque decides to give Costa an opportunity against the Netherlands is uncertain, even with the Dutch stating they will play five defenders. Del Bosque could opt to use Cesc Fabregas in the deep-lying ‘false striker’ position.
“It’s normal to be anxious before the first game against the Dutch. (But) I can’t wait for the competition to start," said Costa, who felt no pangs of regret over his decision to play for his adopted home over his native one.