Where are five of Costa Rica’s World Cup giant-killers now?
The hearts of neutrals were won at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil by the swashbuckling style of Costa Rica and their rampant, take on all-comers run to the quarter-finals.
Before the tournament, you may have been able to name Paulo Wanchope as being a footballing force from that country, if you were a Derby County, Manchester City or West Ham United fan, so this bunch of relative unknown quantities from Central America really put themselves in the shop window.
That got Coral’s football experts thinking about where Costa Rica’s giant-killing heroes have ended up as a result of their fantastic feats? We’ve picked out five players that have done very well through their exploits on the global stage:
Box-to-box midfielder Borges, 26, has not long joined La Liga provincial club Deportivo La Coruna on loan from Swedish side AIK Stockholm. With the Galician outfit battling relegation from Spain’s top-flight, his engine room dynamism could pay dividends as Depor look to beat the drop.
Arsenal-owned attacker Campbell, 22, has been used as bait by Arsene Wenger to tempt Villarreal into selling Brazilian centre back Gabriel Paulista to the Gunners. With the Yellow Submarine 20/1 chances to win the Europa League this term, the versatile forward will help to supplement the goals of ex-Spurs man Giovani Dos Santos and Luciano Vietto nicely.
Central defender Gonzalez, 26, joined Serie A club Palermo this past summer, and the Sicilian side have only kept a clean sheet when he has been in their XI. Currently seven points off the Europa League places, they will need his solidity if they are to make a late push for a top six finish in Italy.
Out of all the players listed here, it is perhaps Costa Rica keeper Navas, 28, that has done the best for himself. He linked up with reigning Champions League holders Real Madrid last summer, and the Bernabeu boys are 11/4 second-favourites with Coral to win Europe’s elite club competition again.
Named after former Russian premier Boris, holding midfielder Tejeda, 22, is now with Evian in France’s Ligue 1. As his current club are just three points above the relegation zone, it’s clear he needs more protection, though Tejeda did assist the winning goal in a priceless home win over Toulouse last time out.