09 June 2014 | News Comments

Senna backs Costa to shine on biggest stage

Former Spain midfielder Marcos Senna is backing Diego Costa to have a "great World Cup" and to be as big a success with the reigning world and European champions as he has been with Atletico Madrid.

Brazil-born Senna opted to play for Spain over the country of his birth and played a vital role in La Roja ending their international drought to win Euro 2008, their first major trophy in 44 years.

Costa has followed in the former Villarreal stalwart's footsteps by choosing to declare for Spain, where he has lived since 2007, despite playing two friendly matches for Brazil in 2013.

Costa made his second appearance for Vicente del Bosque's side in a 2-0 win over El Salvador on Saturday, proving he had recovered from the hamstring injury that forced him to be substituted during the Champions League final.

The striker looks set to make his competitive debut for his adopted country in Spain's World Cup opener with the Netherlands in Salvador on Friday and is expected to receive a frosty reception from Brazilian fans.

However, Senna believes his compatriot will not be affected by the hostile atmosphere that could await him.

"Diego has such a big personality that makes him even stronger and he won't be daunted by the whistling in Brazil, quite the opposite," the 37-year-old, now playing for the New York Cosmos, was quoted as saying in the Spanish press.

Costa, who scored 36 goals in all competitions last season as Atletico won the Primera Division title, looks on the verge of a move to Chelsea later this summer.

But before he arrives at Stamford Bridge, Senna believes he will enjoy a successful World Cup.

"He is a star, and I have been telling him that he will do as well for Spain as he has done for Atletico," he added.

"Diego is very prepared psychologically and he's going to have a great World Cup.

"There are some people who do not agree with what he has done [deciding to play for Spain over Brazil] but there are also people who support him.

"The most important thing is that he is focused and demonstrates what a great player he is."