FIFA World Cup™ finals history
Costa Rica have become familiar faces at the World Cup in recent times. Since making their debut at Italy 1990, where they surprised everyone by reaching the last 16, Los Ticos have graced three more World Cups. Their best ever performance came in the last of them, at Brazil 2014, where they underlined their new-found status as CONCACAF heavyweights by reaching the quarter-finals and taking the mighty Netherlands to a penalty shoot-out. They won their way to Russia 2018 with a match to spare after earning a last-gasp 1-1 draw at home against Honduras. 

The team
Following their exploits in Brazil 2014, the Costa Ricans are clear favourites to win a place at Russia 2018. Skippered by Bryan Ruiz, a creative midfielder who has spent several seasons in European football, Los Ticos are a tactically astute side that plays a high-tempo game and has the ability to switch systems in response to match situations. Key players such as goalkeeper Keylor Navas and midfielder Celso Borges have also established themselves in Spain, a development that should further benefit the team.

The coach
Oscar Ramirez moved into the vacated seat of Paulo Wanchope ahead of their start on the road to Russia, bringing a similarly high level of prestige in regards to his experiences with Los Ticos. Having worn the red, white and blue during their first foray at the World Cup during Italy 1990 on his way to accruing 75 caps, while also acting as assistant coach during their trip to Germany 2006, he has had his fair share of time at the global showpiece. Most recently he has been coaching at Alajuelense, the club where he began his career, winning three Campeonato de Invierno titles and being named Costa Rican coach of the year across two spells there.

The stat
4 -
The number of world finals Costa Rica have previously appeared in. Of their CONCACAF rivals, only Mexico with 15 and USA with ten have appeared at more.

The former stars
Hernan Medford, Alexandre Guimaraes, Paulo Wanchope, Walter Centeno, Rolando Fonseca