Diego Costa dropped from Spain squad
Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been omitted by Spain boss Vicente del Bosque from his 24-man squad for a friendly against Costa Rica and a Euro 2016 qualifier away to Belarus next month
Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been omitted by Spain boss Vicente del Bosque from his 24-man squad for a friendly against Costa Rica and a Euro 2016 qualifier away to Belarus next month.
Sevilla duo Sergio Rico and Aleix Vidal are rewarded for their fine form with the Europa League finalists with their first call-up. However, there was also disappointment for Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera and Bayern Munich's Thiago Alcantara as they too miss out.
Costa returned to action for Chelsea's two final Premier League games after over a month out with a recurring hamstring problem, scoring a penalty in the English champions' 3-1 win over Sunderland on Sunday to take his tally for the season to 21. The Brazilian born striker has failed to replicate that form for his adopted country, though, scoring just once in seven appearances for Spain.
"It is a specific case. He has played two games, but not 90 minutes," said Del Bosque. "He has just overcome some muscular problems and we didn't think he was in the best condition for a key game against Belarus so we have preferred players whose fitness isn't in doubt."
Del Bosque has also called up five promising youngsters in Jose Antonio Gaya, Juanmi, Jonny, Saul Niguez and Ruben Duarte to train with the squad with the Barcelona players and Juventus' Alvaro Morata not set to join up with their teammates until just two days before the game against Costa Rica due to their participation in the Champions League final.
There are also injury doubts over Cesc Fabregas and Sergio Ramos. Fabregas ended the season wearing a protective mask after breaking his nose, whilst Ramos missed Real Madrid's final two league games of the season with a calf problem. "We had a problem with Cesc, who is going to have an operation on his nose. We have included him like Ramos because they have guaranteed us they will be ready for June 1."
Spain host the World Cup quarter-finalists in Leon on June 11 before travelling to Borisov to face Belarus three days later. The European champions sit just second in Group C of qualifying, three points behind leaders Slovakia, but are still well-placed to qualify for next year's European Championships in France with the top two in each group progressing.
Spain squad in full:
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), David de Gea (Manchester United), Sergio Rico (Sevilla)
Defenders: Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Marc Bartra (Barcelona), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Juan Bernat (Bayern Munich)
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Koke (Atletico Madrid), Mikel San Jose (Athletic Bilbao), David Silva (Manchester City), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Isco (Real Madrid),
Forwards: Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Vitolo, Aleix Vial (Sevilla), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Paco Alcacer (Valencia)