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Costa in Spain squad despite fitness woes

COSTA-SPAINMADRID,October 3- Spain boss Vicente del Bosque on Friday included Chelsea’s Diego Costa in his side’s Euro 2016 qualifiers away against Slovakia and Luxembourg despite Jose Mourinho’s concerns over the striker’s fitness.

“He is playing all his games, if we thought he wasn’t in playing condition we wouldn’t have called him,”  he told a news conference to unveil his 23-man squad.

Mourinho has warned that his team’s top scorer runs the risk of breaking down if the player, who has been struggling with a hamstring problem for several weeks, is pushed to hard.

The Portuguese coach has insisted that Costa can only play one game a week.

Del Bosque also included two uncapped players in his 23-man squad — Bayern Munich left back Juan Bernat and Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno.

“Bernat and Rodrigo and performing well. They are players who should be in the national team during many years,” he said.

Del Bosque is seeking to rejuvenate the national team following World Cup disappointment.

Spain won the 2010 World Cup and the European championship in 2008 and 2012. But the same core of players was overrun by the Netherlands and Chile in stinging losses to open this summer’s World Cup.

Del Bosque recalled Barcelona defender Gerard Pique, who was out injured for the friendly against France and qualifier against Macedonia in September.

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Spain face Slovakia on Thursday and at Luxembourg three days later.

“There are no easy wins against anyone. Slovakia and Luxembourg are teams with great stability,” Del Bosque said.


Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, David de Gea (Manchester United/ENG), Kiko Casilla (Espanyol)

Defenders: Raul Albiol (Naples/ITA), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea/ENG), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Juanfran Torres (Atletico de Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Juan Bernat (Bayern Munich/GER)

Midfielders: Raul Garcia (Atletico de Madrid), Koke Resurreccion (Atletico de Madrid), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea/ENG), Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Bilbao), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City/ENG), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal/ENG)

Strikers: Paco Alcacer (Valencia), Rodrigo Moreno (Valencia), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Diego Costa (Chelsea/ENG)

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