World Cup 2018 Costa Rica team profile: How they qualified, star man, World Cup record, fixtures
Costa Rica qualified in dramatic circumstances, but are bidding to upset the odds again after reaching the last eight in 2014.
- Honours: 25th
- FIFA Ranking: CONCACAF Gold Cup (1963, 1969, 1989), Central American Cup (1991, 1997, 1999, 20003, 2005, 2007, 2013, 2014), Central American and Caribbean Championship (1941, 1946, 1948, 1953, 1955, 1960 , 1961)
HOW THEY QUALIFIED
Costa Rica qualified for the second consecutive time thanks to an incredible header from Kendall Waston in the 95th minute of their match against Honduras to finish in second place behind Mexico and in front of Panama in the CONCACAF qualification standings.
STAR MAN - Keylor Navas
Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas spoke of his devotion to God in a documentary presented at the last Cannes festival. Since dragging Costa Rica to the 2014 quarter-finals, the former Levante player has won two Champions League and three Club World Cups with the Real Madrid jersey. He arrives in Russia at the height of his psycho-physical maturity.
NEXT BIG THING - Bryan Oviedo
Bryan Oviedo deserves his moment of glory in Russia after a terrible injury prevented him from taking part in Brazil in 2014. Born in 1990, he is no longer a kid but in context of the entire team he is one of the youngest in the group. Back from a disappointing season in the Championship with Sunderland marked by the pain of relegation to League One, the defensive left sided midfielder is more motivated than ever.
THE COACH - Oscar Ramirez
Former Costa Rica midfielder Oscar Ramirez was a player at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. The former Alajuelense coach has picked up the baton from Colombian colleague Jorge Luis Pinto after he reached the quarter-finals four years ago. Having served as assistant to Paulo Wanchope, he is his own man.
WORLD CUP HISTORY
The Ticos are at the fifth appearance in a World Cup, the second consecutive after Brazil 2014. Two participations to remember on all: in 1990 in spite of all the forecasts qualified for the knockout stages where they were eliminated by the strong Czechoslovakia inspired by Toomas Skuhravy; in 2014 they were stopped by the Netherlands in the quarter-finals only on penalties after the eliminating Greece in the knock-out phase and Italy in the group stage. .
REASONS FOR OPTIMISM
Costa Rica have nothing to lose in Russia, and nobody expects them to repeat the amazing performance of four years ago Players like Bryan Ruiz and Keylor Navas can still direct the key moments of the matches.
- Costa Rica v Serbia: June 17, 1pm
- Costa Rica v Brazil: June 22, 1pm
- Costa Rica v Switzerland: June 27, 7pm