Faces of Football: Costa Rica

 Dear Costa Rican national team,

I’m one of the ‘tica’, one of the 5 million who cheer you on this winter with all my heart and soul. Yes ‘Sele, with all my heart and soul because, once more, you made a dream come true for us all back home: qualifying for a sixth World Cup of my lifetime.

I had to wait until 2002 to watch you compete in a World Cup, with our awesome attacking pair Wilmer ‘El Pato’ Lopez and Walter ‘El Pate’ Centeno, but have continued to qualify ever since. We qualified for Germany 2006 thanks to our striker Paulo Cesar Wanchope, and we made history in 2014 by making it all the way to the quarter-finals – earning the nickname ‘The Giant Slayers’ for the miraculous performances.

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The way you guys play has inspired people throughout the entire country to come together. You managed to stop a whole country just for a penalty, the penalty that Michael Umaña scored against Greece to take us to the quarter finals. I still remember the TV anchor saying to Umaña ‘Blessed be to your mother that brought you to life’. 

Thanks Sele’ for showing us what we are capable of as a nation. You’ve made it possible to believe and to dream. 

We know that the 2022 tournament will once again be an uphill battle for Costa Rica. We will face off against three very talented teams in the group stages, Spain and Germany are two of the competition favourites while Japan are certainly no slouches either. 

I have every faith, however, that we can make it through to the round of 16 as we did in 1990, or go one step further and make the quarter finals like we did in 2014. 

We’ve beaten footballing superpowers before, why can’t we again? We have a great team and an awesome manager. Go out there and prove just how good you all are.

I’m more than ready to shout until I lose my voice from the stands of the stadiums in Qatar. We will make the Al Thumama, Ahmad Bin Ali and Al Bayt stadiums your home, we’ll be there with you, supporting you all the way.

Pura Vida!


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