How big is the possibility that the team from Central America can surprise during the tournament?
61-year old Jorge Pinto is an experienced coach, who was in charge of teams in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Costa Rica. Apart from that, the native Colombian was already Costa Rica's national coach from 2004 to 2006 and the two following years the Colombian national coach. His nickname is Explosivo because of his latent extrovert character.
The biggest advantage is that nobody expects anything from Costa Rica at this World Cup, which is why they can play completely without any pressure. Apart from that the Ticos have a strong defence which explains why they conceded the least amount of goals in the CONCACAF qualifying group – even less than the USA. Their goalscoring hopes depend on the 21-year old Joel Campbell, who belongs to Arsenal and played for Olympiakos Piräus on loan last season. One of his biggest achievements there was his goal against Manchester United in the Champions League.
In comparison to their opponents in the group, Costa Rica doesn’t have enough high quality players. Their best players earn their money at teams like Levante, Piräus or Einhoven. Nine players come from the domestic league which is compared to the other leagues in Central America not very strong. To make matters worse will their best goalscorer Alvaro Saborio will miss the World Cup because of an injury.
It would be a miracle if Costa Rica made it to the second round in Brazil and the people in the small country in Central America would probably be in ecstasy for the next couple of months if they did. However, it is more likely that the team will have to go home after their first three matches. It would already be a huge success if they don’t lose all three matches.