Earlier today, the saga that was whether Diego Costa would choose to represent his native Brazil or his adopted Spain finally came to a conclusion as Costa signed the necessary documentation which confirms that the player intends to represent Spain on the international level. With Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari several hours later dropping Costa from his call-up list for Brazil’s upcoming friendly games, this ended the saga.
Now, Costa will be called-up by Spanish coach Vicente del Bosque for Spain’s upcoming friendly games against South Africa and Russia, but more importantly, this means that Costa is a almost sure bet to be one of 23 players who will be called up to represent Spain at the 2014 World Cup to be played in his native Brazil. Many will chastise and criticize Costa for his decision to choose Spain over his native Brazil, especially given that the Costa has already played for Brazil twice — both of those coming earlier this year — but when you examine the situation at hand, Costa has legitimate reasons for having chosen to represent Spain over Brazil.
First and foremost, when a player like Costa makes such a decision, the politics involved is bigger and more convoluted than your average person and fan can imagine. It is clear that observing this situation from a distance, that Scolari’s latest call-up of Costa into the Brazilian National Team was a ploy to try and pull a power play over Costa and Spain at the same time. It is clear that even by making statements about how much he really does have Costa in mind as a potential call-up for the 23-player roster that will represent Brazil at the World Cup, his talk had no real substance behind said statements.
If I can see and get this impression from a distance, then I must assume, and rightfully so, that Costa knew what Scolari was trying to feed to him through the press and in private discussions was nothing but a load of you-know-what. In addition to Costa realizing that he was not a serious option for Scolari’s squad, Costa has the right to choose Spain over Brazil because he became the player he is as a professional in Spain. When Costa arrived in Spain back in 2007, he arrived as a relative unknown.
Over the years, despite a few setbacks professionally, Costa has grown up and matured as a player and person in Spain, and it is clear that the player now feels a strong kinship and sense of belonging in Spain. He has laid family roots there over the years and as a result, this has played a large part in his decision to choose Spain as the team to represent at the international level. His story in this case is reminiscent of that taken by Deco, who had a similar professional experience in Portugal, and while he probably could have represented Brazil, he choose to represent Portugal at the international level.
While it is easy to chide Diego Costa for having “turned” his back on his native Brazil with his decision to choose to represent Spain at the international level, remember that there is a lot more than meets the eye. It is fair to assume that when taking into account all factors involved, Costa’s decision was based on legitimate and understandable reasons, which should be respected.