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The World Cup Countdown: Spain takes Costa
by Paul Kennedy, May 31st, 2014 6:23PM

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TAGS:  netherlands, spain, world cup 2014

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[BRAZIL 2014] Spain coach Vicente del Bosque included Brazilian-born forward Diego Costa in its 23-player squad for the World Cup despite a thigh injury that forced him to leave both Atletico's La Liga finale against Barcelona and the UEFA Champions league final against Real Madrid early in the first half.

Costa is just one of seven players who were not in Spain's squad when it won the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Del Bosque took Costa's Atletico Madrid teammate, David Villa, rumored to be headed to MLS's New York City FC and much-maligned Fernando Torres but passed on two other forwards, Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo.



DUTCH CUTS. Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal cut his World Cup team down to 23 players ahead of Saturday's friendly against Ghana. There were no surprises in the final six cuts after injured veteran Rafael van der Vaart was ruled out of the tournament.

Patrick van Aanholt, Karim Rekik, Tonny Vilhena, Quincy Promes, Jean-Paul Boetius and goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet were also cut.

World Cup 2014 Squads:
Group A: Brazil (23) | Cameroon (28) | Croatia (30) | *Mexico (23)
Group B: *Australia (27) | Chile (30) | *Netherlands (23) | *Spain (23)
Group C:
Colombia (30) | *Greece (23) | Ivory Coast (28) | Japan (23)
Group D
: Costa Rica (26) | England (23) | Italy (30) | Uruguay (25)
Group E:
Ecuador (24) | *France (23) | Honduras (23) | Switzerland (23)
Group F: *Argentina (26) | Bosnia-Herzegovina (24) | Iran (28) | Nigeria (30)
Group G: Germany (30) | Ghana (26) | *Portugal (23) | *USA (23)
Group H: Algeria (30) | Belgium (24) | Russia (23) | *South Korea (23)
*Updated roster.

PRE-WORLD CUP, Sunday:
June 1 in Harrison, N.J.
USA vs. Turkey
June 1 in Stockholm
Sweden vs. Belgium
June 1 in Houston
Honduras vs. Israel
June 1 in Moenchengladbach
Germany vs. Cameroon
June 1 in Nice
France vs. Paraguay<


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