David Villa replaces Diego Costa in Spain squad for upcoming World Cup Qualifiers
By Allan Valente
Last Updated: 25/08/17 2:32pm
David Villa has been recalled to the Spain squad for their upcoming World Cup Qualifiers as Chelsea exile Diego Costa misses out.
The 35-year-old striker, who plays for New York City FC in Major League Soccer, won Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010 with La Roja before retiring from international football three years ago after his country were eliminated at the group stage of the World Cup in 2014.
However, Julen Lopetegui has handed Spain's all-time top scorer with 59 goals in 97 appearances a place in his group for the qualifiers against Italy and Liechtenstein at the expense of Costa.
The Chelsea forward has yet to play this season and is currently staying away from Stamford Bridge in a bid to force through a transfer to former club Atletico Madrid.
"We believe that calling up Villa is necessary and appropriate. He gives us mobility and is especially eager. We hope and trust he will help us," said Lopetegui, who insists he is not concerned that Villa returns to the national squad from MLS.
"Coming from another league is an issue that we cannot change," he said. "We have to believe in our instinct knowing that they are different competitions. If he comes now, it's because he's going to help us. In the next (squad), we will make the decisions based on their performance."
On Costa, Lopetegui said: "It's been a difficult summer and he is not playing, so we will not take him.
"We talk to everyone and see their personal situations. They have a particular situation and we don't feature in it. More than worrying, we are looking for solutions."
Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso is also not included in the 26-man squad but team-mate Alvaro Morata is selected along with Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Manchester City midfielder David Silva have also been included.