Costa Rica

Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto

World Ranking: 34th

How they qualified: Finished second in their CONCACAF third group round before securing a second place finish in the fourth round Hexagonal, recording wins over both Mexico and the United States in the process.

Fixtures: Uruguay (14 June), Italy (20 June), England (24 June)


Goalkeepers: Keilor Navas (Levante), Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense), Daniel Cambronero (Herediano)

Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Alajuelense), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Columbus Crew), Michael Umana (Saprissa), Oscar Duarte (Club Bruges), Waylon Francis (Columbus Crew), Heiner Mora (Saprissa), Junior Diaz (Mainz 05), Cristian Gamboa (Rosenborg), Roy Miller (New York Red Bulls)

Midfielders: Celso Borges (AIK Stockholm), Christian Bolanos (FC Copenhagen), Oscar Esteban Granados (Herediano), Michael Barrantes (Aalesund), Yeltsin Tejeda (Saprissa), Diego Calvo (Valerenga Oslo), Jose Miguel Cubero (Herediano)

Forwards: Bryan Ruiz (PSV Eindhoven), Joel Campbell (Arsenal), Randall Brenes (Cartagines), Marco Urena (FC Kuban Krasnodar)

Expectations: Costa Rica find themselves considered the overwhelming underdogs in group D alongside Italy, Uruguay and England but such are the low expectations following the Three Lions into Brazil they could very well fancy an upset. Forward Joel Campbell has already stunned English opposition this year with his wonderful strike against Manchester United in the Champions League and his impact will be supplemented by Bryan Ruiz.

Manager Jorge Luis Pinto's versatile tactical approach – where he has often utilised three centre halves in either a back three or back five behind two disciplined central midfielders – could spring a surprise on the opposition but the absence of star striker Alvaro Saborio who broke his foot last week will be felt.

Key Player: Joel Campbell – Given his hopes of returning to Arsenal this summer, much of the attention is already on 21-year-old Campbell. But with Saborio now out of the equation much of the impetus to test the opposition's defence will fall onto his shoulders, along with forgotten Fulham man Ruiz. The forward's invention was sublime, albeit very rare, during his time in west London and will be urgently needed to pick through resolute Uruguayan and Italian defences.


Superior opposition in group D should ensure Costa Rica's World Cup campaign is short-lived. Even an underperforming England should have enough invention to break down Pinto's side.