In an insightful interview with the official TV channel of Atlético Madrid, striker Diego Costa has for the first time, gone into detail explaining his reasons for choosing to represent the Spanish national team, rather than that of the country of his birth, Brazil.
Firstly, Costa wanted to make it clear that one of the reasons he chose to represent Spain, is because it’s the country where he’s achieved his success as a footballer and he feels he has a debt of gratitude to repay.
“It has been a difficult decision for everything involved, to decide between the country where I was born and the country which has given me everything, which is Spain. The considered and correct choice, is to play with Spain, because this is where I’ve done everything. Everything I have in my life, this country has given me. I have a special regard for that. Here, I feel highly valued for everything I do each day and I feel the affection of the people.”
With his choice to play for Spain, comes inevitable criticism from Brazil, with people believing he’s turned his back on the country of his birth. Costa tried to explain that this isn’t the case and that he will always consider himself Brazilian.
“I want people to understand that at no time have I rejected Brazil. I don’t see it like that. It’s simply that I feel valued here, this is where my career has been. Everything that I am, I owe this country. This has been a well-thought decision, but it’s not a rejection. I have family in Brazil, it’s where I was born and where I will live when I finish playing football. Hopefully people will understand and respect that.”
Costa is clearly looking forward to wearing the famous shirt of La Roja for the first time. Referring to his level of determination that has been an integral part of his game throughout his career, he promised that this will be no different when he’s representing Spain, regardless of how many or few opportunities he’s given.
“Wearing this shirt is not something everyone get’s to do. It’s an honour, something massive in the life of a footballer. From the moment that Del Bosque calls me up and I’m on the list, I might play five, ten, fifteen minutes, or whatever, I will give everything I have, because that’s the way I am. In my life, I’ve always worked hard, in all the teams I’ve played for. I’ve always given everything and with the Spanish national team, I will give it everything I can, because it’s the team of the country that has given me everything and I hope to contribute however I can.”
Finally, another key aspect as far as Diego Costa was concerned when it came to making his decision to represent Spain, was to ensure that those already within the squad, felt it was the right thing to do, as the striker underlined his view of the collective being more important than the individual.
“One of the things that came most to mind, was the importance of the group. It’s one of the things I value the most, in the locker room and in the performance of a team. I made it clear to those that came to talk to me and the manager, that the most important thing for me, is the group. If the group were in agreement and they thought it was the right decision for the good of the group, then I would be delighted to join them.”