Just last week, Vicente Del Bosque was singing Diego Costa's praises, leaping to the oft-controversial striker's defense and saying things like "he committed no crime" and "we value his desire" and "not going to doubt him because of his behavior". So when the provisional Spanish squad was named this morning and the Chelsea striker's name was NOT on the list, eyebrows were duly raised.
But Del Bosque's comments came before Chelsea's last two matches, before Diego picking up yet another hamstring injury (that sort of flew under the radar), and before Guus Hiddink hinting that said injury might be a bit more serious than previously thought. And so, sure enough, despite the glowing words from the national team boss, Diego will miss out on Euro 2016 due to injury. (Same thing goes for Arsenal's Santi Cazorla.)
"We've evaluated the situation and we didn't want to have an overload of players who were in an uncertain situation [regarding their physical condition]; we preferred not to bring them."
-Vicente Del Bosque; source: UEFA
Death, taxes, and Diego Costa's hamstrings being jerks. The timing of the injury is especially cruel considering that Diego has managed to stay healthy pretty much all season, unlike last season and the season before when the hamstrings were a constant cause for concern.
Del Bosque ended up naming 25 players to his provisional squad, so he will have to cut two players before the end of the month. All three of our other Spaniards got the call, but VDB left both Juan Mata (ever-present for Manchester United) and Fernando Torres (playing like a man 10-years his own junior) at home. A bit baffling, those.
Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Porto), David de Gea (Manchester United), Sergio Rico (Sevilla).
Defenders: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Piqué (Barcelona), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jordi Alba (Barcelona), Marc Bartra (Barcelona), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea), Mikel San José (Athletic Club), Juanfran (Atlético Madrid).
Midfielders: Bruno Soriano (Villarreal), Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Thiago Alcântara (Bayern), Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona), David Silva (Manchester City), Isco (Real Madrid), Pedro Rodríguez (Chelsea), Cesc Fábregas (Chelsea), Saúl Ñíguez (Atlético Madrid).
Forwards: Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club), Nolito (Celta Vigo), Álvaro Morata (Juventus), Lucas Vázquez (Real Madrid)