Booed boy Costa looks to Chelsea future
FIFA`s hierarchy and Brazil`s President Dilma Rousseff ran him close, but Brazilian-turned-Spanish striker Diego Costa can take away one prize at the World Cup -- the most booed man in Brazil.
A cacophony of boos and whistles greeted Costa`s every touch in his two games, which brought a 5-1 thumping at Dutch hands and a 2-0 loss to Chile as Spain made the quickest ever exit by a defending champion.
It was scant consolation that Costa didn`t have that many touches -- just 50 according to the statisticians -- and five shots on goal, none on target.
Social media was quick to mock.
Under the strapline Diego`s Costa`s best goals at the World Cup, contributor FutballTweets posted a mocked up YouTube image bearing the caption "This video does not exist."
The Atletico Madrid star could have been battling Luiz Felipe Scolari favorite Fred for the chance to lead the line for Brazil, but he elected to take Spanish nationality and dump dreams of Selecao stardom.
For Spain, he sank without trace as "tiki-taka" and his own bustling style proved incompatible, Chile and their three central defenders barring his route to goal.
The jeers rained down louder than ever as coach Vicente Del Bosque hauled off the 25-year-old from the northeastern town of Lagarto, who began his career in Portugal with Braga, and sent on Fernando Torres.
Both are set to compete for the main striker`s role at Chelsea next season as he declared after the Chile disaster that "my future is more over there than at Atletico," with whom he won La Liga.
Reports in the English media on Monday said he had already completed a medical with a view to a 40-million-euro move.
Costa appeared in two friendlies for Brazil last year before pledging allegiance to Spain, prompting a bemused Scolari to state: "He is turning his back on a dream of millions, to represent our national team, the five-time champions in a World Cup in Brazil."
After seeing his dreams of glory with Spain in his homeland turn to dust, Costa remarked "it`s been a good year in many respects but a tough one in others."
Despite his World Cup travails Costa appears to have a big fan in Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, who complained about a lack of strikers at Stamford Bridge last season despite having 60 million euro man Torres, Demba Ba and Samuel Eto`o in his ranks.
Spanish sports daily Marca earlier this week quoted Mourinho as saying that "Costa is a footballer I want in my team."
Under Mourinho, the fact that, as Brazilian media chorused Thursday, "(Spanish) tiki-taka and Costa are incompatible" will not be an issue after the recipe which wowed world football for six years fell flat.
Statistics showed Costa had no shots on target, leaving his Cup hopes completely shot.