Football

Striker Diego could haunt Brazil

A World Cup final featuring hosts Brazil and holders Spain is not an unlikely scenario and Diego Costa could find himself playing a starring role for his adopted country against his native one on July 13.

The Brazil-born forward raised hackles among his compatriots when he accepted an invitation late last year to play for world and European champions Spain.

The 25-year-old, who began his professional career in Portugal before joining Atletico Madrid as a teenager in 2007, has developed into one of the game's most prolific scorers in the past two seasons and will bring added value to a Spain team who have often played without a traditional centre-forward.

It has taken him a while to realise his potential.

Tall, athletic and powerful in the air, he has excellent touch and vision and is a handful for opposition defenders who find it tough to cope with Costa's physical approach, which sometimes pushes the boundaries of fair play.

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has said Costa was "turning his back on the dream of millions" in choosing Spain over Brazil.

But Spain coach Vicente del Bosque will be hoping the player repays his faith, and his native country's loss could very much be Spain's gain. - Reuters.

World Cup