Diego Costa opts for Spain over Brazil
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa has confirmed his intention to play for Spain rather than Brazil, the country of his birth, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirmed on Tuesday.
In a statement the RFEF said that the player has stated "his desire to be at the disposition of the Spanish national team manager Vicente del Bosque" in a signed letter addressed to Julio Cesar Avelleda, secretary general of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF).
"Therefore, Diego Costa can play with Spain in the upcoming games in November, if he is selected by the national team manager," the statement adds.
Spain are due to take on South Africa in a friendly in Johannesburg on November 19 and are in talks to arrange another friendly against Angola four days earlier.
Costa had also been included in Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari's preliminary list for the Selecao's friendlies against Honduras and Chile in November.
However, Scolari confirmed in a statement on the CBF website that Costa had now been removed from the squad.
"A Brazilian player that rejects to wear the shirt of the Brazilian national team and to take part in a World Cup in his country can only be automatically withdrawn from the squad," he said.
"He is turning his back on the dream of millions, that of representing our five-time winning national team in a World Cup in Brazil."
Costa had made two appearances for Brazil earlier this year in friendly matches against Italy and Russia.
However, that does not prevent him switching allegiance because he hasn't played a competitive match at senior international level and he qualifies for Spain on residency grounds having moved to Atletico back in 2007.
The 25-year-old has scored 13 goals in as many games in all competitions this season and is currently the top scorer in La Liga with 11 goals from 10 matches, three more than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Del Bosque had announced his intention to call up Costa last month ahead of his side's final two World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia.
However, the paperwork needed to transfer Costa's allegiance from Brazil to Spain had not been completed in time for him to be involved in those matches.
Centre-forward has been a rare problem position for Spain over the past few years as Fernando Torres and David Villa have both struggled for form and fitness.
Del Bosque has often used midfielder Cesc Fabregas in a more advanced role in recent times and even handed a debut to Swansea City forward Michu in the 2-1 win over Belarus.