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The Brazil-born attacker has managed just one goal
in eight appearances for Spain but the midfielder
says the 26-year-old is great at "creating space"

Cesc Fabregas has leapt to the defence of the
under-fire Diego Costa , hailing his Spain and
Chelsea team-mate s "a great striker".

After impressing heavily in Spain with Atletico
Madrid, Costa opted to switch national teams from
his native Brazil to represent La Roja and was seen
as a potential star for the European champions.
However, the striker has flopped in Vicente del
Bosque's team so far and Saturday's goalless
outing in the 2-0 win over Slovakia means he has
now managed to find the back of the net just once
in eight games for his adopted nation.

Fabregas, though, has voiced his support for the
26-year-old attacker, arguing that a lot of his good
work goes unnoticed.
“Costa is a great striker," he told reporters. "Last
season, he scored more than 20 goals and on
Saturday he won a penalty to make it 2-0.
"He's good at creating space."

Fabregas also urged former Barcelona colleague
Gerard Pique to ignore the Spain fans who once
again whistled him on Saturday due to a perceived
lack of patriotism.

“Pique must carry on playing, being the best
centre-back he can be and giving everything for the
team to win the critics over," the midfielder stated.
"Time heals everything.”
Spain's victory over Slovakia saw Del Bosque's
men draw level with their opponents at the top of
Group C but claim first place thanks to a superior
head-to-head record.

The pair are just three points clear of Ukraine with
three games still to play, but Fabregas is supremely
confident that La Roja will claim a place at Euro

“We're now the leaders and it's likely we'll qualify
for the European Championship,” he added.
“We had a great first half against Slovakia and I
think we gave a very complete performance.
"The squad is full of top players and hopefully we'll
continue to do well."

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