Spain boss Vicente del Bosque leapt to the defence of striker Diego Costa, whom he believes is demonised in the Premier League.
The Chelsea star has been left out of the country’s upcoming friendlies against Italy and Romania though Del Bosque dismissed reports that his omission is because of a discipline problem, instead insisting he is injured.
Costa seems to court controversy and was sent off after being involved in a spat with Gareth Barry in the FA Cup loss to Everton.
The Spain forward was also cleared of making offensive gestures towards Toffees fans but Del Bosque played down the incidents.
“From what I’ve seen, they have demonised Costa a lot and maybe that’s why [there are some who don’t want him in the squad] but the last episode isn’t so serious, honestly,” he told El Mundo Deportivo.
“He was putting in effort to play because it was Chelsea’s last chance to get something and he plays with great excitement.
“That’s a good part of his approach. He also has other things that are bad, but I don’t want either to change.
“If we called him it’s because we already know him, but I don’t like that he does ugly things, but the other day wasn’t like that.”