Despite losing in a dramatic penalty shoot-out to the Dutch in their quarter-final clash on Friday the Costa Ricans have made many friends and gained many more supporters during the World Cup.
The World Cup underdogs have performed admirably especially given a very tough group, where they were grouped with Italy, Uruguay and England, but they have equipped themselves well and exceeded expectations by coming out on top in the so-called group of death.
Costa Rica can look back with pride
Naturally they will have been disappointed by their quarter-final defeat to Holland but they will look back on their campaign with pride as they have been the breath of fresh air that every World Cup needs. They will rank alongside the likes of Cameroon in Italia 90 as the team who have lit up the tournament. However, they will want to build on this and not rest on their laurels.
In actual fact the Costa Ricans could have won their quarter-final game as they created a chance late on in the which, if converted, would have probably meant there was no way back for the Dutch. As it was, penalties dictated their fate, a cruel way to exit for any side as any England follower will relate to.
Costa Rica built their campaign on a solid defence, helped by the excellence of their
goalkeeper, and an attacking flair with pace that often terrorised defences. Their forward line was spearheaded by Arsenal prospect Joel Campbell and ex-Fulham player Bryan Ruiz.
Keylor Navas shines
Goalkeeper Keylor Navas has been highlighted by many as their star man for Costa Rica
after only conceding two goals in the whole tournament and making some fantastic saves along the way. Despite being upstaged by Newcastle's Tim Kruhl in the quarter-final shoot-out he should be proud of his performances especially in the second-round shoot-out victory against Greece.
Focus though should not be just on Navas as many of the Costa Ricans will have
alerted the top European clubs to their talents and could be part of some lucrative moves in the next month or so, particularly to the on-looking Premier League sides. Navas has already been linked with a move to Arsenal or Liverpool.
It will be interesting to see where Costa Rica go from here. Hopefully they will develop, and continue to entertain the World of football at the same time.
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