After making their FIFA World Cup™ debut at Spain 1982, Honduras subsequently endured a seemingly endless wait - 10,219 days and six tournament editions to be precise - before they rubbed shoulders with the world’s elite teams again at South Africa 2010.

The Central Americans will take part at Brazil 2014 too, and in one of the curious tales the game occasionally produces, there is a common theme linking the country’s two most successfully crops of players. Back in the 1980s, Honduras were famed for their defensive solidity and they won the final round of the CONCACAF qualifying championship without defeat, conceding just once along the way.

The cornerstone of that team was Allan Costly, a physically imposing, no-nonsense centre-back. Now, three decades later, his son Carlo is equally influential at the opposite end of the pitch, and scored six goals to help fire Honduras to the 2010 global showdown. chatted exclusively to Costly senior on a wide range of topics, including his country’s footballing past, its future and, of course, his son.

Football in the family
Allan Costly made his professional debut for Tela Timsa in 1974 and soon became a mainstay in the backline. Three years later he joined Real Espana, where his continued good performances earned him a maiden call-up to the national side. Costly went on to become a vital cog in team that made Honduran history by qualifying for a World Cup for the first time.

“A professional footballer always wants to play at a World Cup,” Costly said. “For me it was a feeling of great happiness, although we were drawn in a difficult group. The day before one of our games our neighbours El Salvador suffered a very heavy defeat. As a team we’d been together for almost two years and that helped us to compete well with the big European sides.” Honduras secured 1-1 draws with hosts Spain and Northern Ireland before being knocked out following a 1-0 defeat against Yugoslavia.

Yet just when it appeared the team was becoming an established force in the North, Central America and Caribbean qualifying zone, Honduras failed to reach the finals for another 28 years. “I think a lot of mistakes were made back then,” Costly said. “We went close but always fell at the last hurdle. I think hiring foreign coaches has helped improve things and now we’re achieving our objectives.”

Prior to hanging up his boots for good, Costly had a spell in Spain with Malaga before returning to his homeland and seeing out his career in the domestic league. It appeared that the name Costly would fade from prominence in Catracho football, but in 2003 that was to change when Carlo was handed his debut for Platense.

Second chance
Four years later, the forward followed in his father’s footsteps in both becoming a full international and later playing a leading role in helping Honduras qualify for the World Cup. However, just months before South Africa 2010 kicked off, Carlo suffered an injury that kept him out of the tournament. “I was really upset,” recalled Costly. “As my son he was eager to follow my achievements in playing at a World Cup but unfortunately that problem at the last minute prevented him from doing so.”

“My son always gives 100 per cent,” continued Costly, proudly. “He’s got so much energy and that helps him because he plays with his heart out on the pitch. Now there are only a few months left and I tell him to keep giving everything, but that if he wants to emulate me he should be careful and avoid hefty challenges.”

Carlos may have missed out four years ago, but football has a habit of giving second chances. And it seems fate is on the forward’s side this time, especially as he was on target in Honduras’ historic 2-1 victory over Mexico in the Estadio Azteca in the six-team round-robin final of CONCACAF qualifying for Brazil 2014. “Nothing would make me happier than seeing my son finish as the tournament’s top scorer,” Costly said. “But things don’t always work out how you want. I don’t think the side is at the same level as the European or South American teams but anything can happen with a bit of luck. I hope he has a good tournament.”

With the interview drawing to a close, Costly finishes with words of encouragement for the national side: “The whole team have got a wonderful opportunity to do well at the competition. When you have the chance to play at a World Cup it’s vital that you're focused. That’s the only way you have a chance of reaching the knockout rounds. I hope they do better than they did in South Africa.”