Just call me Andy

Andy Reyes.

That is the most straightforward name by which to call the Costa Rica No9, who played a crucial role in his side’s victory over South Africa in their opening FIFA U-17 World Cup Group E game. However, the AD Carmelito frontman could just as easily go by any number of monikers.


“I am really romantic,” the confident forward told FIFA.com, when asked about his qualities in an exclusive chat after his goal-scoring performance against the Amajimbos. Is his romance directed at anybody in particular? “Of course, that’s private!” His love for the ball in the opening game meant the youngest outfield player in Los Ticos' squad looked at home on the global stage, terrifying the African defence at every turn.


Despite his goalscoring instincts, and his desire to get on the ball, he is unselfish, and he was more than happy to lay on an assist for the CONCACAF side’s opening goal of the tournament, scored by Kevin Masis. In fact, during the chat, the No9 looked a little lost without his partner-in-crime, who had been selected for a post-match random doping test.

“My relationship with him is very good,” Reyes said of Masis. “We are really friendly, we enjoy our moments together and we always have each other’s support. That’s why we can celebrate these three points together.”

The eater.

Looking at Reyes, you would truly question why Masis and the rest of his team-mates jokingly label the slender striker ‘el comelón’. The affectionate nickname simply translates as someone who enjoys their food. Watching him bounce off the challenges of the South African defensive players, remaining upright with balance and poise, his own explanation makes sense. The frontman says it’s all down to building his strength.

“I mean, I’m not overweight because I’m always playing football,” Reyes said. “But I do eat a lot. I guess, it’s so that during practice, I don’t have problems with tackles.”

Reyes is certainly hungry for more success on the global stage, saying he has a desire to follow other famous Costa Rican exports, including 2014 FIFA World Cup™ heroes Keylor Navas, Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell in going to Europe to play. Despite his lofty future plans, he is also humble, saying he wants to become professional not for the riches, fame and fortune, but so he can buy a house for his mother. A potential university degree is on the cards too. But there is one thing Reyes desires more than anything else.

World Cup winner?

All the joking and nicknames aside, the young Tico is clearly driven, as his tone changes when asked about his ambitions, becoming more focused in his response – and delivering a single, abrupt statement.

“I want to be a world champion.”

Reyes was dropped from the Costa Rica squad before the CONCACAF qualifying tournament, only to return and prove his importance to coach Marcelo Herrera with five strikes during the preliminary competition in Honduras. That steely determination, mixed with the multi-faceted personality, makes Reyes a difficult individual to label. The one thing that is certain about the fresh-faced youngster, if he continues with the inspirational performances throughout Chile 2015, he has a good chance of that final statement becoming a permanent nickname at the tender age of 16.