29 days, 32 teams, 63 games, 1 winner. As the Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup came to a close over the weekend we think it’s fitting to look back on the tournament, and Costa Rica’s legendary involvement!
The World Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world, bringing one nation and a handful of players the glory of being world champions of the great game (until the next tournament). Unfortunately this year Costa Rica was not number one, but advancing to the quarter-finals to mark our nations best ever performance in the tournament, is an achievement that has gone far from unrecognized!
In group play our Ticos tied England 0-0, beat Italy 1-0, and Uruguay 3-1. We then beat Greece in shoot-outs to advance to the final eight! After an incredibly hard fought defensive game against the Netherlands in the quarter finals it came down to penalties once again, and unfortunately it didn’t go our way this time.
Luckily for Costa Rica our loss to the Netherlands was bitter-sweet. Yes, we were out of the running for winning the tournament, but the efforts by our men were so impressive and inspiring, we couldn’t be too distraught. Beyond just the soccer, the World Cup truly illustrated some of the best characteristics of Costa Rica and our people.
1. We are the underdog – Being a small country, with about 4,579,000 people and a total area of 19,730 sq mi (51,100 sq km), we may not seem as big or strong as other nations, but we definitely proved that desire, spirit and passion often win out against bigger opponents. This same philosophy translates to every aspect of life in Costa Rica. Though we may sometimes seem small, we are mighty, and so often compete on the world stage, in everything from culinary tourism to developing environmentally sustainable practices.
2. We play to win – Though the odds may have been stacked against us, we never once dropped our heads or doubted ourselves. Similarly, though we may face challenges as a nation, our foundation is strong with an army of dreamers and doers, and we have proven that we can truly rank among the top destinations in the world for agriculture, tourism, wildlife and more.
The house-keeping staff at Lapa Rios Ecolodge
3. We love every moment – Though our team didn’t come home with the trophy, they created incredible memories for their countrymen and women, as well as for themselves, to share for many years to come. Here in Costa Rica, we like to live by the saying “pura vida”. It literally translates to “pure life”, but to us it means so much more than that. It means that no matter what you have or where you are, you must enjoy life. You must take the good with the bad, and find a way to still be happy. It is used generously in day to day interactions between Costa Rican’s and is one of the ways we remind ourselves of this lovely way of life.
Until next time, pura vida!