Llorente replaces injured Costa in Spanish squad

IANS| Updated: Nov 12, 2013, 14:48 PM IST

Madrid: Diego Costa will have to wait until 2014 to make his debut for the Spanish national team after the Brazilian born forward was forced to pull out of the squad for the forthcoming friendly matches against South Africa and Equatorial Guinea with a torn muscle in his groin.

Costa would almost certainly have made his debut for Spain in one of the two matches after opting to play for Spain ahead of his native Brazil.

Once available, Spain coach Vicente del Bosque wasted no time in naming him in his squad, although he made it clear that Costa in no way had a place in the squad for next summer`s World Cup finals in Brazil.

However, as so often happens in football, fate in the shape of injury has played a hand and Costa was forced to withdraw from the squad he picked up during Atletico Madrid`s 1-1 draw in Villarreal Sunday evening.

After being examined by both club and country doctors, he was advised to pull out and Del Bosque has named Juventus striker, Fernando Llorente in his place.

The former Athletic Club Bilbao forward has made just one appearance for his country in the past 15 months, but has started to hit form since his move to Italy in the summer, scoring in both of Juventus` Champions League matches against Real Madrid and also in their game in Serie A at the weekend.

Costa will have to wait until March 5 next year for his possible debut when Spain play Italy in the Vicente Calderon. Ironically he made his debut for Brazil against the Italians earlier this year.