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Costa Rica National Football Team

As the most successful football team from Central America, Costa Rica now carries the weight of the talented region on its shoulders.

The team has caused some major upsets in recent international tournaments and goes into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar ready to show once again why they should be considered one of the best teams in the world.

Want to see how The Costa Rica National Football Team will do in the Qatar 2022 World Cup? Click the links below to bet on your favourite World Cup matches!

Wednesday November 23 –  Spain vs Costa Rica (Al Thumama Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 5pm).

Sunday November 27Japan vs Costa Rica (Ahmed bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 11am).

Thursday December 1Costa Rica vs Germany (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 8pm).


Costa Rica National Football Team: History, Players, and Competitions

Costa Rica National Football Team History

The English Connection

Like many other Latin nations, the story of football in Costa Rica has close ties to Great Britain. Football historians mostly agree that the Costa Rican student who’d spent time abroad in England brought the game back with him when he came home in the 1870s. It is said that even the first football that they played with was brought back from  England with him, as were the kits.

With the right equipment and a great game, word spread like rapid fire around Costa Rica, and the new sport soon became one of the nation’s passions.

Getting Organised

After a few years, people started to realize that this excitement needed to be channeled into something with more structure. This push was helped by the arrival of English expatriates and businessmen who brought English football culture and a love of the game with them.

Around the turn of the century, people started setting up clubs to practice the sport, and as the quality of competing teams rose, so did interest in the game. However, Costa Ricans would have to wait until 1921 until the National League was announced. That same year the international team played their first game, thumping El Salvador 7-0.

Post-war Years

The Costa Rica National Football Team and Mexico battled it out to be the top Central American team throughout most of the 1950s and 60s. Unfortunately, Mexico tended to come out better, and Costa Rica repeatedly missed out on World Cup qualification at the final hurdle.

Things didn’t get any easier in the 1970s and 80s as other teams from the region upped their game, and the competition for World Cup qualifying became more vigorous. Two Olympic tournaments in 1980 and 1984 allowed the side to test themselves on the international stage but it repeatedly looked out of its depth.

First World Cup Qualification

In 1989 Costa Rica National Football finally got their first shot at World Cup glory, being greatly helped out along the way by the disqualification of Mexico by the regional footballing authorities. When the finals were played in 1990, the team made a huge mark for being comprised of nonprofessional players despite it being one of the most prestigious sports tournaments in the world. Amazingly, they even reached the knockout stages, losing 4-1 to Czechoslovakia.


The Costa Rica National Football Team qualified for the World Cup in 2002, 2006, 2014, and 2018. Their 2014 performance was particularly remarkable. When they were drawn in a group with Uruguay, Italy, and England, it was presumed that they would come bottom of the so-called “group of death.” However, Costa Rica National Football shocked the world when they finished top of their group, ultimately only being knocked out in the quarter-finals by the Netherlands on penalties. Fans see them as slowly inching ever closer to World Cup success.

Costa Rica National Football Team Trivia

  • Although they don’t have any major trophies, Costa Rica isn’t completely bereft of silverware. Most notably, the team has three Gold Cups to its name, dating from 1963, 1969, and 1989.
  • Costa Rica’s ground, the Estado national des Costa Rica, was the first modern sports arena to be built in Central America. As well as sports, it is used for all sorts of events, including live music. It holds 35,175 fans.

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