Costa Rica's World Cup 2022 Standings
Costa Rica is the third team in Group E, which also includes Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia. Below you will find their current tournament standings, updated after every matchday.
Costa Rica's Odds To Win The World Cup
Brazil will top Group E without a doubt - the second-ranked team in the world have qualified for the second round as group winner in the last nine consecutive tournaments and are almost certain to do so again. This leaves Costa Rica in a three-way skirmish with Switzerland and Serbia to earn the other place in the Round of 16.
While we acknowledge that the Central Americans surprised everyone in their 2014 campaign, we aren't so sure they can repeat the feat. Switzerland is a well-drilled and highly skilled team that breezed through qualifying and is perhaps a better chance of going through. If they can manage a first-round win over Serbia, it is still possible that they can progress, however it will almost certainly come down to their final match against the Swiss.
Sports Interaction has listed Costa Rica as unbackable outsiders for the tournament win (+39900), which is understandable considering they are no chance to do so. Your best chance is to pick whether or not they will progress from Group E; +325 is the price for them to do so while -500 is available if you believe they won't. They are huge underdogs even in this market, but there is always a chance that lightning will strike twice.
One thing is certain, finishing second in the group will almost certainly mean Germany will be their opponents in the second round, and there is no chance they will repeat their 2014 efforts and make it to the quarter-finals.
Costa Rica's Squad for the 2022 World Cup
All teams must declare a 30 man squad for the World Cup by the middle of May, while the final 23 man squads don't have to be finalized until the first week of June, just days prior to the tournament start date. We will update you when the team sheets are announced, but first, let's take a look at some of the most important players in the Costa Rican team and who we think will play a big part in the competition.
Keylor Navas (Goalkeeper)
Costa Rica is always a chance in tight contests thanks to the performances of Keylor Navas in goal. The Real Madrid number one already has 76 caps for his country and a similar number of starts for his club.
Navas was heavily involved throughout the 2014 campaign, earning three men of the match awards, including in both knockout matches against Greece and the Netherlands. He ended the tournament with three clean sheets from five matches, including Italy, England and the Dutch side, and was one of three Golden Glove award nominees, eventually losing out the Manuel Neuer of the winning German side.
Bryan Ruiz (Forward)
Ruiz captains the side and will become one of the top four most capped players in Costa Rican football history during the World Cup. His tally of 23 international goals is solid, while his performances for the Portuguese club side Sporting Lisbon have also impressed. He is one of a group of players who performed well in 2014 and the experience of playing on the big stage will be vital to their chances on this occasion.
The 2016 CONCACAF Player of the Year plays as an attacking left-midfielder in the Costa Rican setup and will trouble opposing defences with his runs in behind.
The Coach - Oscar Ramirez
Ramirez had a long playing career in Costa Rica, making over 550 starts in the Primera Division for Alajuelense, Saprissa and Belen. He also made 75 national team appearances as a midfielder, scoring six goals. It was at Belen that he commenced his management career, before stints at both his other former clubs and a short spell as an assistant coach in the Costa Rican national team setup.
In August 2015, Ramirez was appointed as Paulo Wanchope's assistant coach for the Costa Rican national team, however, he took on the role himself soon after due to Wanchope's departure. He successfully led the Central Americans through a long and difficult CONCACAF qualifying campaign and will be one of many fresh faces in the technical area in Russia.
Costa Rica's World Cup 2022 Lineup
Costa Rica's latest competitive international was played against Panama on October 10th, 2017, while they also came up against Spain and Hungary in friendlies in November. The full lineup for the match in Panama City was as follows.
Starting Lineup (5-4-1)
Patrick Pemberton (Alajuelense) - Jose Salvatierra (Alajuelense), Kenner Gutierrez (Alajuelense), Michael Umana (Pars Jonoubi Jam), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Ronald Matarrita (New York City FC) - Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), David Guzman (Portland Timbers), Rodney Wallace (New York City FC) - Johan Venegas (Saprissa)
Reserves: Randall Azofeifa, Christian Bolanos, Marcos Urena, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Leonel Moreira, Yeltsin Tejeda, Kevin Briceno, Ariel Rodriguez, Jhamir Ordain, Daniel Colindres, Johnny Acosta
Costa Rica's FIFA World Cup History
Costa Rica is one of several teams making their fifth appearance at a World Cup when they travel to Russia in June. The Central American nation has punched well above its weight at the tournament since their first start, famously topping a group containing Uruguay, Italy and England at the 2014 event in Brazil. Their quarter-final finish remains the best ever by a Costa Rican team at the world's biggest sporting event.
Mexico's disqualification from the 1990 World Cup opened the door for Costa Rica to attend their first-ever tournament, and despite pooling alongside heavyweights Brazil the side managed to qualify for the Round of 16 after victories over both Scotland and Sweden in the group stage. Their run ended when they lost 4-1 to a strong Czechoslovakia side, although it was an impressive start.
The expansion of the tournament to 32 teams in 1998 presented CONCACAF with an additional slot in World Cup qualification, and although Costa Rica failed to qualify for France '98 they managed to top the standings ahead of Mexico and the USA before the World Cup in Japan and South Korea. They began well with a 2-0 win over China and a draw with Turkey, but once again they drew Brazil in the group stage, and their 5-2 loss in the final group match saw them eliminated.
Costa Rica made it back to back tournaments for the first time in their history when they qualified for the 2006 event in Germany, however, their performance at this tournament would go down as their worst in history. In a group that featured the hosts, Ecuador and Poland, the Central Americans failed to pick up a point and conceded nine goals.
After eight long years, Costa Rica returned to the World Cup and was picked to finish last in a 'group of death'. History will show they not only managed to defeat Uruguay and Italy before progressing as the group winner, but it will also show they saw off Greece in the Round of 16 (thanks to a penalty shootout) and progressed to the quarter-finals. Another shootout followed, this time against the Netherlands, although this time they were unsuccessful. They were so close to what would have been a famous semi-final berth.
Costa Rica was solid in qualifying for the 2018 event. They finished the CONCACAF hexagonal in second place behind Mexico and well ahead of their nearest rivals. They have once again drawn Brazil, with history suggesting that is one match they can expect to lose, although the 2014 tournament taught us to expect the unexpected from Costa Rica - perhaps they can get the job done against Switzerland and Serbia and progress to the Round of 16. Only time will tell.