Costa Rica Team - 2014 World Cup Betting

Best Finish: Last 16, 1990

Manager: Jorge Luis Pinto

Captain: Bryan Ruiz

Key Player: Bryan Ruiz (Fulham)

Group D: With England, Italy and Uruguay


Costa Rica had a pretty bad start to the final round of CONCACAF qualifiers, tying Panama and losing to the United States. However, they rallied to go unbeaten over their next six matches and eventually finish with a 5-3-2 (W-D-L) record – good for second place behind the U.S.

One aspect that immediately sticks out about this team is their back line. Costa Rica allowed the least goals out of any team in the 10-game CONCACAF qualifying round with seven. And what really drives this defense to excel is their unique system. Manager Jorge Luis Pinto employs a very flexible setup where three defenders play back at all times, and two players can float between being defenders or wingbacks. The end result is a defense that's very difficult to get around, even for the best attacking teams.

A large amount of how well Costa Rica does in their tough group draw depends on Bryan Ruiz. In the past, he's been criticized for disappearing from games at times. But when he's fully into the action, the midfielder is a skilled dribbler who's more than adept with his left foot. He, Joel Campbell and álvaro Saborío will form a pretty strong attack for "Los Ticos" during their run in Brazil. Saborío is especially important to this attack, as he showed in qualifying stages by scoring eight goals.

The one suspect area for this team could be their midfield. Yes, Ruiz is a very polished player, however, the depth is just not there for Costa Rica to compete with the world's top teams for the full 90 minutes. That said, they'll need to shore up the midfield if they're going to make it out of group play for the first time since 1990. This is especially the case since they will be contending with powerhouses like Italy and England for one of the group's top two spots.

Other World Cup Teams

Algeria Team | Argentina Team | Australia Team | Belgium Team | Bosnia Herzegovina Team | Brazil Team | Cameroon Team | Chile Team | Colombia Team | Costa Rica Team | Croatia Team | Ecuador Team | England Team | France Team | Germany Team | Ghana Team | Greece Team | Honduras Team | Iran Team | Italy Team | Ivory Coast Team | Japan Team | Mexico Team | Netherlands Team | Nigeria Team | Portugal Team | Russia Team | South-korea Team | Spain Team | Switzerland Team | Uruguay Team | USA Team