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Spain to return to La Rosaleda for Costa Rica friendly game

La Rosaleda when it hosted Spain-Venezuela in February 2012.
La Rosaleda when it hosted Spain-Venezuela in February 2012. / Álvaro Cabrera
  • The game on 11 November will be the first of four warm-up games for the World Cup in Russia

The Spanish national team will return to La Rosaleda, a ground which has been a lucky omen for them in recent years, when they take on Costa Rica on 11 November.

Having completed a successful qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia next summer, La Roja will start their preparations with a series of friendly matches, the first of which will be at La Rosaleda in Malaga against Costa Rica (kick-off 8.45pm).

Spain won their previous three friendlies at the ground without conceding - the most recent two before heading off to tournament victory.

On 29 February 2012, Spain beat Venezuela 5-0 courtesy of a hattrick from Roberto Soldado, and a goal apiece from Andrés Iniesta and David Silva. Malaga players Santi Cazorla and Salomón Rondón were on opposing teams, while Roberto Rosales, who would sign for Malaga two years later, started for Venezuela, who were well represented in the stands.

That year, Spain went on to win Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, four years after their Euro 2008 win in Austria and Switzerland which was also preceded by a warm-up game at La Rosaleda. This time France were the visitors on 6 February 2008, losing 1-0 thanks to a goal from Joan Capdevila.

After the trip to Malaga in November, Julen Lopetegui’s side travel to St Petersburg for a friendly against an all-star local XI on the 14th.

In March, in the following international break, Spain will take on the current world champions in Germany, before potentially facing Brazil at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid - a fixture yet to be confirmed.