Spain boss forced to rethink World Cup squad after Diego Costa gamble backfires

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (left) celebrates with team-mate Koke after scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League match at Stamford Bridge, London

Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa (left) celebrates with team-mate Koke after scoring his side's second goal from the penalty spot during the UEFA Champions League match at Stamford Bridge, London

First published in Sport

DIEGO SIMEONE’S gamble on playing Diego Costa in Saturday’s Champions League final has forced Spain boss Vicente del Bosque to delay the announcement of his World Cup squad.

Del Bosque had planned to reveal his 23-man squad yesterday, but was forced into a rethink after the events in Lisbon.

Costa, who was a significant doubt for the final, had to be withdrawn after just nine minutes for Atletico Madrid when he suffered a recurrence of his hamstring problem.

Instead of naming a full squad, Del Bosque has picked a 19-man squad for a friendly with Bolivia on Friday which does not include players from either Real Madrid or Atletico, so they have time to recover. Atletico defender Juanfran Torres also injured his foot in the final.

THE Brazilian government have revealed that more than 150,000 troops will be on duty in a bid to ensure the World Cup runs safely.

It will be the first finals held in that country since 1950 but concerns have been raised about the safety of fans travelling to games and during matches because of the violent protests which marred the Confederations Cup.

Many Brazilians are angry at the cost of staging the showpiece at a time when there are poor work and safety conditions in many parts of the country.

TIM CAHILL has claimed there is a buzz in the Australia squad again after the introduction of some much needed young blood.

In the past the Aussies have called upon the likes of Mark Schwarzer, Mark Viduka and Harry Kewell.

But this time around the Socceroos squad features ten players under the age of 23 and they are encouraged to attack more under coach Ange Postecoglou.

Cahill said: “Those guys give us revitalisation as athletes because being 34 and some of the being 20,21 you’re always just reminding them about trying to do everything they can do in training properly.”

COLOMBIA are giving star striker Radamel Falcao every chance of making the World Cup.

The Monaco striker is recovering from knee ligament damage suffered in January and coach Jose Pekerman is willing to wait until June 2 – the day the squad has to be announced - to determine his fitness.

JUVENTUS midfielder Arturo Vidal has been included in Chile’s provisional 24-man squad despite his own struggles with a knee problem.

The 26-year-old injured his leg this month and is hoping to head for the World Cup along with Wigan’s Jean Beausejour. Chile are in Group B against Australia, Spain and Holland.

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