Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata has backed Chelsea forward Diego Costa to regain his place in the Spanish national team.
The 27-year-old was dropped for the Euro 2016 qualifiers against Luxembourg and Ukraine, with Spain boss Vicente del Bosque claiming that he omitted the former Atletico Madrid forward because he would be suspended for the Luxembourg clash.
Costa has struggled to reproduce his club form in a Spain shirt as he has just a goal in nine appearances for the La Roja but Mata feels that Diego’s lack of show is because of the team’s style of play.
“Being the striker in a team like ours, with so many midfielders, is not easy,” the Manchester United playmaker told Onda Cero.
“You have have to adapt and above all be patient, because there is a lot of time without touching the ball. But when you do get it you have to finish well. It is a very complicated role and players like [David] Villa or [Fernando] Torres did it very well, but it is difficult to come in and adapt.
“It is very difficult to face him. I would rather have him as a team-mate than a rival. His movement and goals will always create problems. Also because he fights with the centre-backs and causes friction that somehow knocks the opponents’ concentration.”