Costa Rica

After seven games of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying, it appeared as though Costa Rica had little chance of winning. An aging and sluggish squad only managed to win once, tie three times, and lose all three matches they played against Mexico, the United States of America, and Canada.

Since then, Luis Fernando Suarez’s Los Ticos squad has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis. Before beating New Zealand in the inter-confederation play-offs to earn a spot in Qatar, they went 11 games without losing, which moved them from seventh place in the CONCACAF rankings to fourth place.

In fact, there was no remarkable reason on coach Suarez’s behalf for the success. It only took a few months into his tenure as head coach for his players to comprehend what it was that he expected from them, and that was in addition to the return of players who had been injured.


Suarez began his tenure as head coach with the intention of playing with a back four. While he still retains this strategy for some situations, the squad has been playing with a 5-4-1 formation in recent games. Even though it is a more defensive strategy, it lets them take advantage of how fast they are on the wings and start counterattacks.



Keylor Navas

In his time with Real Madrid, he won three crowns in the Champions League; now, at PSG, he serves as the team’s driving force and inspiration.