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Chelsea striker Costa feeling more comfortable in Spain squad

Goal.com logo Goal.com 25-03-2017

Spain striker Diego Costa has thanked coach Julen Lopetegui for making him feel more at home at international level.

Brazilian-born Costa switched allegiance to Spain ahead of the 2014 World Cup despite having played two friendlies for the country of his birth.

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The Chelsea star struggled badly as the then-reigning world champions were the first side eliminated from the competition and he failed to make Vicente del Bosque's squad for Euro 2016.

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But Lopetegui has brought the 28-year-old back into the fold and he scored his fourth goal of the qualification campaign for Russia 2018 in Spain's 4-1 win over Israel on Friday.

"It's really important when the coach has the trust in you," Costa told reporters.

"Del Bosque trusted me a lot, and with the time I was more comfortable in the national team.

"Everything was important - Lopetegui and all the time I spent with my teammates [under Del Bosque].

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"I'm more comfortable now, little by little I'm getting more confident and I'm improving my game."

Spain lead Italy at the top of Group G on goal difference and travel to Paris for a friendly against France on Tuesday.

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