Soccer-Costa decides for Spain but can't be called up yet

Reuters

MADRID, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid's Brazil-born forward Diego Costa has expressed a desire to play for Spain but cannot be called into the squad until the necessary paperwork is completed, the nation's soccer federation (RFEF) said on Thursday.

Coach Vicente del Bosque is due on Friday (1000 GMT) to announce his squad for the world and European champions' final two World Cup 2014 Group I qualifiers at home to Belarus on Oct. 11 and Georgia four days later.

"The Atletico Madrid player Diego Costa cannot be called up tomorrow by coach Vicente del Bosque for Spain's next matches against Belarus and Georgia as FIFA has made further demands which are in hand," the RFEF said on the national team's official website (www.sefutbol.com).

"... the player has nonetheless today made a verbal expression to the national coach of his wish to play for the Spanish national team in the future," they added.

The combative 24-year-old, who has dual Spanish and Brazilian nationality, has been on fine form this season and tops the La Liga scoring chart with eight goals together with Barcelona's Argentina forward Lionel Messi.

Spain lead their group on 14 points alongside France but have played one match fewer. (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)

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