In order to join the other three North American representatives at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Costa Rica had to defeat New Zealand in an intercontinental playoff last summer.
Although things didn’t look good early on, Costa Rica finished fourth in North American qualification, earning them a spot in the intercontinental playoff. In June, they beat the All Whites thanks to an early goal from Joel Campbell.
OFFICIAL: Costa Rica's 26-man squad for the 2022 World Cup. 🇨🇷 pic.twitter.com/7ZuBBcl0AI
— Squawka (@Squawka) November 14, 2022
Group E features two European powerhouses and a strong Asian side, making it one of the toughest in the entire World Cup. However, Los Ticos are no strangers to World Cup upsets, having beaten England, Italy, and Uruguay in 2014 to win their group.
On November 9, Los Ticos will host Nigeria in their final tuneup before leaving for Qatar the following day. On November 17, while in the Middle East, they will stop in Kuwait to take on Iraq. On Wednesday, November 23, they will begin their World Cup campaign.
LOS VERDADEROS INFLUENCER QUE PONEN EN ALTO A EL SALVADOR 🇸🇻
El equipo masculino de esgrima, integrado por los salvadoreños Saúl Villacorta, Bryan Escalante y Alexis Molina, ganó medalla de plata en la Copa del Mundo de Espada Juvenil San José 2022, en Costa Rica. pic.twitter.com/bQFBUndJLD
— ITR Oficial (@ITROriginal) November 7, 2022
Final 26-man Costa Rica World Cup squad
On Thursday, November 3, manager Luis Fernando Suarez announced his final roster with an eye toward the future. More than a third of his final World Cup roster consists of players under the age of 25. (11 of 26 total). However, that youth comes with its share of inexperience: 11 players on the 26-man roster have played in fewer than 10 international matches.
Keylor Navas (age 35), Kendall Waston (age 34), Celso Borges (age 34), Bryan Ruiz (age 37); and Joel Campbell (age 30) are all seasoned veterans still on the squad. Campbell, a former player for Arsenal, is one of only three forwards named to the final roster.
Nashville SC’s attacking midfielder Randall Leal, Lommel SK’s Alonso Martinez, Inter Miami’s Ariel Lassiter, and Miami’s right back Cristian Gamboa were all surprisingly left off the roster (VfL Bochum). Younger backup goalkeeper Patrick Sequeira was also favored over the more seasoned Alajuelense option, Leonel Moreira.
Herediano manager confirmed Orlando Galo would have been on the roster had he not been suspended provisionally by FIFA for a positive doping test.
Left-back Ronaldo Matarrita is hurt, but Suarez thinks it won’t be a problem for him to make a full recovery.
Costa Rica World Cup squad, lineup
Opening the tournament against a strong Spain side, Los Ticos will hope to produce a shock result and set themselves up for a positive group stage finish.
They will be up against it, with Japan and Germany to follow, a brutal draw for the CONCACAF nation.
Costa Rica can play in multiple formations. They had success with a three-back system in North American World Cup qualifying, but recently set up in a more traditional 4-4-2 lineup in their intercontinental playoff and pre-World Cup friendlies.
In the first match they will likely look to clog the spaces against a Spain side that should dominate the ball. A 5-4-1 formation will give Los Ticos the best chance to do it.
Costa Rica projected starting XI vs Spain
DFs: Oviedo — Calvo — Waston — Duarte — Fuller
MFs: Torres — Tejeda — Borges — Aguilera
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