Chelsea striker Diego Costa remains one of the least liked players in English football, and his antics at the Everton game in the FA Cup - including a "biting" incident with Gareth Barry that the Everton player himself denied from his own volition - certainly didn't help his case. It was rumoured that Costa's absence from the latest Spanish national team call-up could have been motivated by his attitude in the Everton game, but manager Vicente del Bosque vehemently denied that.
"From what I've seen, they have demonised Costa a lot and maybe that's why [there are some who don't want him in the squad] but the last episode isn't so serious, honestly."
"He was putting in effort to play because it was Chelsea's last chance to get something and he plays with great excitement. That's a good part of his approach. He also has other things that are bad, but I don't want either to change."
"If we called him it's because we already know him, but I don't like that he does ugly things, but the other day wasn't like that."
Del Bosque criticized Costa for his antics before, so he wouldn't be shy to hamper on the player again if he felt the need to do so. It's certainly good news for Costa that his boss at the international level doesn't feel as if his attitude doesn't have a place within the squad, unlike other peers in Spain.
The manager also said that Spain's squad for the Euros could change depending on the fitness state and availability of the players, with Costa in the fray to make a return if he's fit to play in the competition.
"I imagine [the tournament squad] will have quite a few of those who are there now, but I don't think it will be exactly the same. There's two months ahead and there can be changes or injuries or some of those who are injured now could recover, like Santi Cazorla, Vitolo, Andres Iniesta, Costa."
Diego Costa could yet have his current ban extended by the FA and Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink is not happy with the authorities.
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has accused the Football Association of targeting Diego Costa for disciplinary punishment.
Costa will sit out Saturday's London derby against Premier League high-flyers West Ham at Stamford Bridge after he was sent off for an altercation with Gareth Barry during last weekend's FA Cup sixth-round defeat at Everton.
Television replays of the incident that resulted in the striker's second yellow card suggested he might have bitten Barry, although both players later denied that was the case.
Costa was cleared of any wrongdoing by the FA over??a gesture he??aimed towards the Everton fans at half-time.
He could still be hit with an extension to his ban through a charge of improper conduct that relates to his behaviour directly after receiving a red card for the Barry clash.
Hiddink is uneasy over??the varying rap sheet with which his forward, who was left out of Spain's international squad on Friday, is being confronted.
"First, everyone wants to get on his kiss or 'bite', and Barry made a very good statement by saying what has not happened in this case,"??said the veteran Dutchman.
"Maybe there was a little bit of searching for where we can get Diego, and there he was frustrated.
"If you cannot prove the bite sometimes, in my opinion, they are looking a bit for where they can chase him. The officials [the FA administration].
"He is a bit marked in this. I know it???s difficult. If the player is frequently bit by bit provoked, you [opponents] play a bit with that.
"It's part of the game, how far can you get someone out of his comfort zone and into the red zone?
"I have said I cannot guarantee Diego will not explode but I sometimes get the impression they [the authorities] go for him.
"What I smell and didn't like, and what I spoke about with Diego this week, is we both had the feeling they could not charge him on the kiss, but 'let's see what else we can get him for.'"