Diego Costa: Brazil call-up is the best thing that could happen to me
Atlético Madrid’s Diego Costa says that his first call-up to the Brazil national team is "the best thing that could happen" to him.
The 24-year-old is in line to earn his first international cap after Luiz Felipe Scolari selected him for friendlies with Italy and Russia this month.
Costa has revealed his delight at the call-up and hopes to use the opportunity to force his way into the Seleção coach’s plans for next year’s World Cup in Brazil.
He said: "Being called up for the national team is the best thing that could happen to me, it's a dream and I'm really happy.
"There's just over a year to go until the World Cup and I'd like to be there but, that's for the top players. To get there you have to play well for your club and I know that it is very tough, although I'll try. It could be my first and last opportunity.
"He [Scolari] called me to ask if I'd like to play with the national team. He didn't say it would be now but that he was watching the games and that he'd put me on the list one day. It was a surprise."
The Brazilian has been in fine form for Atlético this season, notching 13 goals and setting up six in all competitions, which he believes is the most important point of his career.
He added: "When I went out on loan last year, I knew that I had to come back better. It was going to be difficult but I was confident.
"I feel like I'm at the most important point of my career and I just hope things continue like this."
The forward is known by some for his aggressive style of play, with seven yellow cards to his name this season, but Costa says he has no plans to change.
"I'm not going to change it, it's my way of playing and I am where I am because of the way I do things. It might be annoying because I'm always battling, but that's football", he concluded.