Michael Owen believes there are similarities between Spain’s decision to overlook Chelsea‘s Diego Costa for the summer’s Euros to Glenn Hoddle’s choice to axe Paul Gascoigne from his England squad ahead of the 1998 World Cup.
Despite being one of the Three Lions’ biggest stars ahead of that major tournament—the last to be held on French soil—Gazza was cut from Hoddle’s provisional list ahead of the tournament.
Costa—who switched nationality from Brazil to Spain in order to represent La Roja—was also overlooked for Vicente del Bosque’s Euro 2016 squad, despite being one of the team’s biggest names.
Admittedly, Costa has had his injury concerns this term, and while a return of 12 goals is underwhelming, it came as something of a surprise when Costa wasn’t considered even for Spain’s provisional squad.
Speaking to the Mirror, Owen reckons Costa’s attitude and the forward’s potential for controversy have ultimately cost him a spot in the team.
“I suppose if you know you’re not going to be starting them, do you want them in the squad potentially disrupting the harmony in the camp?” he began.
“It’s similar to Gazza in ‘98. Hoddle wanted to start with Scholes and wasn’t sure about having Paul in the squad if he wasn’t playing so he overlooked him,” Owen added.
“We’ve seen sulky players in the France squad who have caused an implosion and derailed any chances of success so I can understand the philosophy.”