Soapbox Suzy: Respect Costa’s decision!

Brazil's antagonism towards our star forward hits fever pitch

Costa addresses matters  on the club's official site  (

Costa addresses matters
on the club's official site

As an Atlético fan, I am always pleased when, on perusing the sites of the Spanish sports papers, I am not directly met with the face of some Madridista or Barcelona player, which would mean having to scroll all the way down to see anything related to Atleti or our players.

But, lately, I’m getting annoyed with the whole ‘Diego Costa: Spain or Brazil’ thing.

Being nominated for their respective national teams is something many of our players have achieved over the last months. I’m really happy about it, because it is a sign of the great work they do for Atlético. It makes me a proud Rojiblanca to witness how they develop, and I am already looking forward to seeing a few familiar faces at the World Cup next year. It doesn’t matter to me which country they play for.

If this thing with Diego Costa continues on much longer, there will be enough content to create a Lord-of-the-Rings-style blockbuster — three movies, with special extended edition!

The lack of fair play coming out of the Brazilian camp is really getting on my nerves! I really can’t understand why they are making a telenovela out of the whole situation, or the fact that they “forgot” about him.

We all know Costa didn’t suddenly appear from the bottom of the sea. It’s just the opposite. He had already been playing at a high level last season, but they did not care about him. Did they call him up for the Confederations Cup? Nope! There was only a meaningless friendly. After that, he never heard anything from their coach again.

But now that Spain is exercising its (totally legal, by FIFA rules) right to offer him the opportunity to play for them, Brazil can’t wait to have him. It doesn’t seem like they cause this fuss because they really want him, though, but more to just prevent the Spaniards from taking him for their own. They even called him up early for the November friendlies, so he might be penalised if he refuses. They made a complaint to FIFA and to the Spanish federation president about Spain applying a rule (to Costa) that has been applied to dozens of players by countries before!

And to add to it all, to have to read the things that were said by their national coach, that it’s “unfair” to let players who were born in another country play for Spain.. Well, Mr. Scolari, take a look at Deco and Pepe, whom you coached for Portugal, and then tell me again something about “unfair”.

I can even see Brazil suing Costa for his decision, just to make it impossible for him to play.

On paper, this does not have any direct influence over Atlético and our Rojiblanco season schedule, but you can detect a note of disturbance. There isn’t a single press conference or interview where a player or club official is not asked about it.

I want each of our players to be able to concentrate 100% on football, and not on stupid stuff like this. Diego Costa doesn’t deserve this. He does not deserve to endure a battle of strength between two federations at his expense.

David Villa said the right thing about this whole thing in the mixed zone after Sunday’s match: It’s Diego Costa’s decision. It’s only his decision. And you have to respect it, whether you like it or not. He has decided. He decided to play for Spain and not for Brazil. And that’s it!

So, my dear Brazilian federation, please find yourselves a basement to cry in, and don’t embarrass yourselves further by asking your nation to take away Costa’s Brazilian passport for being “persona non grata”  and claiming he chose to play for Spain for financial reasons. Just let him play football! Because that’s what we all want him to do!

  • Kaminero

    In my opinion the real embarrassment here are the ambigious FIFA regulations, which allow this sort of confusion to go on for months. I don’t care whether they make the rules stricter or looser but I wish they just made them clearer.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Luiz Asshole Scolari who asked to withdraw Costa’s Brazilian nationality is the same person who coached Portugal which had 2 Brazilian players, Deco & Pepe !!

    for the first time in my life I will not support Brazil in The World Cup

  • F

    F for Spain, Diego Costa, & you all !!! Diego Costa is already play for Brazil 2 games in friendly & now he is atraitor

  • Paulo

    Any Player who … [assumes] a new nationality and who has not played international football [in a match … in an official competition of any category or any type of football for one Association] shall be eligible to play for the new representative team only if he fulfills one of the following conditions:
    (a) He was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    (b) His biological mother or biological father was born on the territory of the relevant Association;
    (c) His grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the relevant Association;

    How is that unclear to anyone?

  • Paulo

    And Btw. Diego Costa has never played professionally in Brazil.

  • Kaminero

    It’s perfectly clear that according to the current regulations Diego Costa can play for Spain. No problem there, and personally I don’t have any strong opinion on what he should do (or should have done rather). What I find strange in this system is how some national team matches count and others don’t. In Diego Costa’s case It would be interesting to know why the matches against Italy and Russia are not included in “any type of football for one Association”.

  • Mirai_Torres

    @Kaminero: I think what they want to say is that he is not allowed to have played an official match of any category (neither World nor continental cup nor qualifiers) and no other type of football that is also under FIFA rules (like Futsal or Beach soccer)

    As long as you have not played an official match for the country in one of the FIFA covered kinds of football you are allowed to switch.

    Brazil had another example where they did not protest that much: Thiago Motta also played friendlies for Brazil and switched to Italy.

    Another example is Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04). He played three friendlies for Germany but when he was not included into the German Euro 2008 squad he switched to the US team because he also has an US passport.

  • Kaminero

    OK, I got the “other type” wrong. Nonetheless, I find the current situation strange, because it’s the same Brazilian national team under CBF, who are playing both the friendlies and the so-called official matches.