Costa Rica’s players reflected on how far Concacaf has come after bowing in the World Cup quarterfinals on penalties to the Netherlands on Saturday. Mexico and the USA also made it to the tournament’s second stage, bowing out in the round of 16, but the Ticos were the region’s only representative in the final eight. After beating the likes of Uruguay and Italy en route to the quarterfinals, Jorge Luis Pinto’s men were deservedly proud of their achievement.
“For the region it’s huge and for Costa Rica it has an impact economically, socially and sports-wise,” midfielder Celso Borges said. “We can grow on many levels. This will be one of the key moments in Costa Rica’s soccer history.” Asked if Concacaf teams had done enough to deserve a fourth automatic qualification spot, he said: “That is for other people to decide. But what Concacaf has shown during the tournament, let that be our way of judging. We had three teams in the last 16, we all played well and we all played our hearts out."
He added: “Every World Cup has a revelation during the tournament. I’m really happy it was us. The cards we were given before the World Cup, everybody thought we had no chance. To come through all that shows a lot of mental stability and that we also have good players. Among everything we deserve to be called good players. That’s why we should be happy.”