Tuesday Kickoff: Brazil plan to select Costa in November; Schweinsteiger set for 100th cap; and more

DiegoCostaAtleticoMadrid1-Sevilla (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

La Liga’s top scorer Diego Costa is now the subject of an international tug-of-war over his future national team services.

After declaring earlier this month that Costa preferred to throw his lot in with the Spanish National Team, the Brazilian Football Federation (CBF) stated in an official letter to the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) that Brazil and head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari plan on calling up the Atletico Madrid star for the November FIFA dates.

The 25-year-old moved to Portugal when he was 17-years old and has lived in Spain since 2007, making him eligible to represent La Roja, despite having played for Brazil in two friendly matches last March. If both Spain and Brazil call up Diego Costa in November, the nations will leave the conflict to FIFA, though with the amount of time that could take in terms of legal proceedings could force Costa to miss the World Cup for both countries.

In eight league matches so far for Atletico, Costa has scored ten goals, including seven in the last five games.

Here are some more stories to start your Tuesday:

SCHWEINSTEIGER SET TO EARN 100TH CAP

Decorated German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to earn a new achievement when he takes the field for the German National Team on Tuesday.

Assuming he plays, Schweinsteiger will become the eighth player to earn 100 caps for Die Mannschaft, joining club teammate Philipp Lahm and international teammates Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski as active players on the century list. The Bayern Munich leader earned his first national team cap on June 6, 2004 in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Hungary, and has been a mainstay in the side ever since.

“(One) hundred caps is a number that fills me with pride. It’s very special because it can’t be taken for granted. And I hope I play lots more internationals after this,” Schweinsteiger told Bayern Munich’s website.

The 29-year-old holding midfielder who has been with Bayern Munich since joining as a youth player in 1998 has won numerous titles with his club but hasn’t been able to find the winning formula with the national team, finishing in second at the 2008 Euros and third place at each of the last two World Cups and Euro 2012.

REAL MADRID PRESIDENT HINTS AT FUTURE FALCAO SIGNING

Real Madrid boss Florentino Perez enjoys flexing his muscle when talking about potential signings, so his most recent comments about AS Monaco forward Radamel Falcao must be taken with a bit of skepticism.

Speaking on a Spanish sports talk show “Punto Pelota” on Monday evening, Perez said that he anything was possible in reference to Real Madrid signing the Colombian National Team star, though Perez did rule out the club signing Falcao in January.

“He won’t come in January but in June, who knows?” Perez said on the program, via The Guardian. “Nothing is impossible and there is a lot of time between now and then. Falcao is a great player and I am aware that he wants to play for Madrid. I am aware of that, but it’s normal. They told me.”

Falcao was subject to nearly a year-long transfer saga, with plenty of fans around the globe speculating where his next move would be after another stellar season with Atletico Madrid. Though many expected him to move to the crosstown rivals Real Madrid, Falcao instead chose to sign with Ligue 1 club AS Monaco. Falcao has already scored seven goals in nine matches for his new club.

The Guardian report says that Real Madrid would likely have to pay £50 million ($79.6 million) to AS Monaco to sign the 27-year-old.

QUICK KICKS

Schalke 04 striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has suffered a setback in his recovery from a knee injury that’s kept him sidelined since mid-August. (REPORT)

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen hints that he may need to leave the club, where he is currently captain, in order to have full match fitness for the 2014 World Cup when he surely will suit up in Brazil for Belgium. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich will be without promising winger Xherdan Shaqiri until December after tests confirmed a torn thigh muscle. (REPORT)

Cesare Prandelli wants no distractions next summer in Brazil, as the Italian National Team head coach has announced that he will enforce a ban on social media from his players if not starting soon then certainly during the World Cup. (REPORT)

———

What do you think of these reports? Do you see Costa resolving his national team situation by November? How important of a player has Schweinsteiger been to the German National Team? Do you believe that Real Madrid would sign Falcao next summer?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Featured, South American Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Tuesday Kickoff: Brazil plan to select Costa in November; Schweinsteiger set for 100th cap; and more

  1. AcidBurn says:

    Someone explain to me the Diego Costa situation…so he has a Brazilian passport and a Spanish passport.

    He’s only played in two friendlies for Brazil, so he is provisionally cap-tied to Brazil…isn’t it just a simple matter of declaring a one-time switch to Spain (like Jermaine Jones did for the US) and putting the paperwork through FIFA? Why would it be so complicated that he could miss the WC?

    So he gets called up by both countries, either says “Felipao, to dentro” or “Vicente, ya voy” and if he decides on the Spanish route, does a one-time switch. Why would the legal proceedings drag into next year?

    • Yankeedom says:

      I’m wondering the same thing Acid. The article makes it seems like its not even Costa’s decision whom to play for and instead a matter of which team calls him up first.
      Also, I’m not even sure he’s provisionally cap-tied since those were only friendlies he participated in. Unless of course he’s represented Brazil in a FIFA sanctioned youth tournament.

      • Joamiq says:

        Yeah, there’s definitely no way he would miss the WC over this and I don’t know why that’s suggested. Eligibility issues are usually dealt with quickly precisely so as not to prevent a player from having an opportunity to participate, and this doesn’t even sound like a particularly complicated case anyway.

    • Good Jeremy says:

      It’s not complicated, Brazil is just trying to mark their territory. The letter they are sending to the Spanish FA is not binding in any way and he is free to declare his one time switch at any time.

      First, tell me how naive, racist, and out of touch with the 21st century I am. Second, tell me how you can justify someone who moved to Spain at 18 with no ties beyond professional sports and now wishes to represent them over the country he was born in. I’m guessing that everyone’s opinion would change as soon as the Americans currently in the Arsenal, Liverpool, and Barcelona academies pledged their loyalty to England and Spain.

      • k says:

        dude you’re totally right. I guess 1 positive is that he moved there when he was sorta young and not like a 29 year old footballer hoping to play for his new homeland.

        I understand some players want chances for trophies but do it legitimately

        • Chris says:

          Filing a 1-time switch IS legitimate…hence Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson, Aron Johannsson, etc., suiting up for the USMNT…

          • slowleftarm says:

            It’s permitted by the rules. However, that is far different than it being “legitimate.”

            • bryan says:

              i think someone like O. Alonso, Fagunez, Adu, Nagbe, etc. playing for the USA is a better comparison to the Costa situation. AJ was born in the US. JJ and FJ have American blood via their fathers.

              • slowleftarm says:

                Fagundez moved here when he was 5 so I don’t think that’s a great comparison. Adu was 8 so also not a good comparison. That’s a lot different than moving here when you are an adult in order to play professionally.

              • bryan says:

                that’s my point. they moved here and were naturalized citizens…just like Costa would be if he played for Spain. i don’t care if it was 5 years or 20 years. to compare them to AJ, JJ, and FJ is not correct given all those guys are US citizens without being considered “naturalized”. they had their US citizenship from birth given their various situations.

              • bryan says:

                with that said, if we are talking about the legitimacy of Adu or Fagunez playing for the USA versus Costa, i agree. Adu and Fagunez have been here for basically their entire lives.

                but i was just commenting on the comparison between naturalized citizens and players like JJ, FJ, and AJ.

      • Anthony says:

        The country he previously played for has to release him/ok the switch. Usually, it’s a formality. However, sometimes it’s delayed/refused for political reasons. Osvaldo Alonso not having Cuba release him.

      • Judging Amy says:

        I don’t think you’re naive or racist. But those feelings of national pride and national affiliation are a very personal thing. I wouldn’t want to tell anyone that it’s wrong for them to represent a country they feel is theirs.

        Firstly, it’s not really my business. Secondly, he’s been there 7 years. It’s not inconceivable he sees it as home.

        I think you’re right that we all would feel pangs of betrayal should the situation happen to a highly rated American player (Rossi). But the fan brain isn’t always the rational brain or the rational heart.

        • edmondo says:

          agreed. great points. People forget to admit that Rossi NEVER played for any US Youth Team, never played accepted any call-up and intimated as much. He had all his eggs with Italy or bust.He loves NJ, but his heart was with Italy. Gotta respect his choices, there was nothing duplicitous about it.

          Neven Subutic is a slightly different story because (not saying he is duplicitous), but he blamed Rongen’s decision not to select him for the U23 as his reasoning for not wanting to be part of the US set up, but he was also interested in playing for Germany, but realized he could not after he played for the US as a youth because he was not German citizen even though he had lived there as a youth.

          • slowleftarm says:

            Rossi is a disgrace and next summer he won’t be representing any country at the World Cup.

            • Paul says:

              Wow! Bad day? You are entitled to your opinion, but (1) both of Rossi’s parents are ITALIAN, (2) they were born and partially raised in Italy, (3) he was never part of the US set-up or training- he was trained by his father, (4) he moved back to Italy when he was 12/13 years old.

              They guy has spent most of life in Europe, spoke Italian at home, and was trained by Italians.

              How you can say Adu moving here at 8 while never having any connection to US before that is OK, but Rossi moving to Italy at 12 and having connections to Italy is NOT OK is completely hypocritical.

              Hey…it’s your right to have an opinion and be illogical.

            • edmondo says:

              The point I was trying to make was Rossi was never duplicitous about his feelings/loyalties. Subotic, to me, seems a lot more duplicitous.

          • history cool says:

            agreed. He never led us on.

    • Iggy says:

      yeah, its poorly written above. Seems like he could just turn down Spain, accept brasil, and play tomorrow if needed.

  2. k says:

    anyone else feel international football has lost its way in the past decade due to the dominance of the Champion’s League? Too many friendly matches between clubs and nations. Just seems too much. say Player X is world-class. 1 of the top 10 players in the world. Usually gives 90-95% of his talent in every club match. Maybe he’s more motivated by the money, prestige or the fact he’s surrounded by world class players. say he goes home to play for his country but he only gives 60-70% of his talent. Fans slag him because they feel he is underwhelming for the NT. Maybe he is. Maybe it’s because he doesnt want to be injured, maybe because he feels playing for his country is akin to playing for charity, maybe it’s due to the players alongside him.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      We used to watch clashes of cultures, different ways of thinking about the game and different national personalities emerging on the field. That was the height of the game. It was called the World Cup.

      Today, the highest level of the game is the clash of corporations, international conglomerates festooned with advertising logos. It’s called the Champions League.

      Sure, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe the quality of a game between Real Madrid and Baryen Munich (for example) is where the evolution of football should be. But we have lost something too, and we shouldn’t lose it light. Not that I have any alternatives to recommend….

      • slowleftarm says:

        Back 20-30 years ago, for example, few players played outside their home country. Also, there were far fewer club games on television and those games that were on were pretty much all domestic games. So the World Cup was one of the few chances, maybe the only chance, for most fans to see most of the great players around the world.

        Now, players all over the world can see all of the top players all the time because huge numbers of games are available on television from leagues all over the globe. I think that’s the reason the World Cup may not longer be the pinnacle in terms of pure football. It’s still by far the best tournament in any sport though, in my opinion, even if you could argue that the players in, for example, Bayern v Real Madrid, are a little better than the players in the World Cup final.

        • Anthony says:

          I agree, but it was more like 40 years ago. in the mid-90′s, there was already a lot movement of the best players across borders.

      • Acebojangles says:

        I essentially agree with your point about professional teams. That’s why I prefer college and international sports to professional sports. I don’t feel much of a connection to a professional sports team because it’s a collection of mercenaries that don’t represent me in any way.

        The problem with eschewing professional sports is that the money available in the pros is what drives player and game development. Oh well, I guess I’ll just keep being a free rider who enjoys college and international sports made possible by the professional sports I don’t watch.

  3. Brain Guy says:

    I wonder if anyone in Spain is questioning whether Costa is really Spanish enough to play for their national team.

  4. k says:

    Players should have 2 options.

    Play for the country you born in or raised in. If you born in the USA but you raised in canada from age 5 to 20. then pick 1. I’d imagine u feel more Canadian so chose them. It shouldn’t matter if your mom is from Brazil or dad is from New Zealand. Or your grandparents on both sides were British. Players shouldn’t have like 5 possible countries to play for. Kinda makes citizenship some big laugh. It’s not xenophobic but honoring your culture. Yes if your dad/mom are American, that’s lovely but if you’re raised 20 years in Chile, i’d figure u feel more Chilean. Chilean should have the honor of your representation. Today FIFA makes international football into some GIANT fun selection. It should be easy and simple. They make it too easy for Player 1 to be from Japan but spend 5 years in Belgium and suddenly wants to play for Belgium. Say what? No wonder fans go crazy. Seem like a very mercenary move. Are they doing it for the money? for the advantage of playing for a better team? But it’s good to discuss these things. Representing your country/home is a high honor. To me it doesn’t matter where your parents are from. It’s all about you. If youre parents are from Brazil but you’re born/raised in the USA, i’d be honored if you play for our NT and you should as well good sir

    • wfrw07 says:

      What should FIFA do? The rule is that a player needs to be a citizen, and each country has different citizenship qualifications. Certainly FIFA should not be in charge of who is a citizen of a country, and damn sure shouldnt be ruling in a case to say which country s player belongs to since they can’t keep their own house in order.

      The only thing I can really think of is making friendlies cap tying, so at least you wouldn’t have the thirty year old changing nationalities.

    • Shimano says:

      Players should have the option of playing for the countries responsible for their development.
      Diego Costa was a nobody when he moved to Spain therefore, to a degree, he’s a product of Spanish football. They took him as a youngster and helped him become the players he’s today.
      Compare him to the Jermaine Jones et alii who never spent any time playing soccer in the US. The rules say they can represent the US but in reality, when they jump on the field, they’re representing Germany’s player development, not the US.
      The World Cup is a showcase of what you can do player development wise, not how well you can recruit.

    • edmondo says:

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, I often see that people are speaking with a certain degree of naivete. People also forget that the rules for FIFA used to be a lot looser which is why the former Real Madrid great Alfredo Di Stéfano was able to play for 3 different countries (Spain, Argentina, Colombia).

      I and a lot of my friends are children of expats or people from different backgrounds. I am citizen of 3 countries, and I had lived in 4 countries before I was 18 due to my dad’s job. Who is to say what is really in my mind or heart? I have another friend who was raised from 4 years old in Hong Kong to American parents, but came back and played soccer in college in the Northeast. Who is to say what he feels? Another friend who has parents who are Brazilian and American, only spent 3 years in the US, but feels very American and partially Brazilian.

      I don’t like when players switch at 29 because they know that they will not play for their country of choice. However, when a player chooses 1 team when they could legitimately play for 2 or 3, you do not know where their minds really lie. FIFA leaves it up to the countries because only they can define what they consider a citizen. The correct limitation is set up: (1) a one time switch and (2) can only switch to any country that you able play for at the time you played any national team match (friendly or not).

  5. k says:

    “KEVIN PIETERSEN let his country down — but Jack Wilshere hasn’t, say Ian Wright, who adds in his Sun column:

    The flak Jack copped for his views on foreign players representing England is outrageous. And I agree with everything Jack said. You MUST be English to play for England. KP can say whatever he wants but he was born in South Africa — it isn’t the same him having the Three Lions on his chest…

    It’s like cheating. Any victory that requires foreign help is hollow. If you’re English and not good enough to play for England you don’t just go and play for Ireland.

    • Anthony says:

      while I can see Jack’s point and I agree when it comes to that kid Janusz, I really wish Ian would stop talking. He is not the worst but he is annoying.

  6. Brain Guy says:

    Here’s one for you — is it possible for a player (born in Country B to citizens of Country A) to have then moved around so much in his youth, from country to country to country, that under some people’s view, he should not be able to play for *any* national team?

    Discuss.

    • edmondo says:

      Like me! Parents of 2 different countries, born in a third and moved around where I lived in 5 countries before 18 yrs old. If I was good enough to play beyond club football, would I be told that I could not get play for any country :) !

    • history cool says:

      which country did they live in the longest? or the country they were born in. They should choose of the 2. They shouldn’t have multiple countries due to their parents.

      That whole Nationality by blood thing shouldn’t transfer over to FIFA football. If my dad was British and mom is Colombian and I was born in Japan but raised in Croatia. I’d represent Croatia or Japan. most likely Croatia since it was where I came of age.

      • edmondo says:

        Countries decide who is a citizen not FIFA. To me it’s foolish to be a citizen just because you are born there if neither of you parents are citizens or at least permanent residents. However, some countries like the US, it’s OK. Bear in mind most countries in the world don’ grant citizenship that way, mostly those in the Americas. Why would simply being born in a country make you more of a citizen than someone who has blood of that country running in their veins going 200 years?