For the team from Central America, the 2022 World Cup will be the seventh participation in a final tournament. The Ticos qualified for the first time in 1990, when they reached the round of 16 at the first attempt.
Since 2006, the Costa Ricans have participated in every World Cup finals, in part due to the expansion of the North and Central American federation’s starting spots. Their greatest success was reaching the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. There, they only lost to the Netherlands in a legendary penalty shootout.
At the 2018 World Cup, they were eliminated in the preliminary round after defeats to Brazil and Serbia and a draw against Switzerland.
The road to qualification
In the qualifying phase of Concacaf, Costa Rica was initially seeded in the first two qualifying rounds. Later, they won a total of seven of their 14 matches and drew in four games.
In the last seven matches to be played in the qualifiers, the team remained without defeat and almost overtook the USA in the final meters. In the end, they finished in fourth place, which was enough to qualify for an intercontinental play-off against New Zealand.
This was held in Qatar in June 2022 and won 1-0.
One player on the team stands out above the rest: goalkeeper Keylor Navas is considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has proven this regularly, especially during his time at Real Madrid and currently at Paris St. Germain. There he was always able to hold his own against top-class competition.
The 35-year-old is above everything else in the team – but he can’t score any goals. Instead, they rely on familiar faces: Bryan Ruiz (LD Alajuense), Joel Campbell (Club Leon) or Celso Borges (LD Alajuense) were already part of the big success in Brazil.
Costa Rica has been coached by Colombian Luis Fernando Suarez since June 2021. The 52-year-old previously coached the national teams of Honduras and Ecuador, but was not overly successful in any of his stops.
With Costa Rica, he averaged 1.86 points in 22 games. Towards the end of qualifying, he turned up the heat with his team, going seven games without defeat, including six wins and the decisive victory against New Zealand.
His team plays tactically very variable and mostly with a double-6.
Keylor Navas (Paris St. Germain) – Kesher Fuller (CS Herediano), Juan Pablo Vargas (Millionarios FC), Francisco Calvo (Konyaspor), Ian Lawrence (LD Alajuense) – Celso Borges (LD Alajuense), Yeltsin Tejeda (CS Herediano) – Gerson Torres (CS Herediano), Bryan Ruiz (LD Alajuense) – Joel Campbell (Club Leon), Anthony Contreras (CS Herediano)
World Championship 2022
Costa Rica will play in Group E at the World Cup in Qatar. There they will face the two favorites Spain and Germany as well as the team from Japan.
At least since their successes at the 2014 World Cup, Costa Rica is no longer a team that is underestimated. Both Spain and Germany know how difficult it will be to beat the Tikos.
But Costa Rica 2022 is also getting on in years. The core of the team has been together for many years, and the average age is correspondingly high. Of course, they have one of the best goalkeepers in the world in Keylor Navas, who has shown often enough how much he can drive opposing strikers to despair. But a single outstanding player alone will not be enough to hold their own against overmatched opponents.
In their group, Costa Rica is therefore a glaring underdog and it must be feared that they will be eliminated in the preliminary round, as they were at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Moreover, they have scored only one own goal in Russia.
The oddsmakers rate Costa Rica the worst of all participants, along with Saudi Arabia and Iran.
- No qualification for the round of 16 – 1.10
- Qualification for the round of 16 – 7.00
- Qualification for the quarterfinals – 34.00
- Qualification for the semifinals – 101,00
- World Cup title – 751,00
Odds from bet365. Odds represent a snapshot and may change at any time. Odds without guarantee.
Other teams in Group E: