It all started with a spectacular morning. As a Tico would say, it was “a luxurious day.” As the hours passed, Costa Ricans prepared themselves for an exclusive appointment – the chance to support the Sele (Costa Rica’s national soccer team). The entire country felt the same thing and saw the same colors – the streets, people, businesses, and animals – everything was covered by blue, white and red. Nationality didn’t exist, and there wasn’t a language difference in this country that hosts countless cultures with delight. On Sunday, WE WERE ALL TICOS.
Costa Ricans’ heartbeat quickened with every minute of the game, until Bryan Ruiz scored, fulfilling hopes and opening the door to make history in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Yes, yes, it was unbelievable, no one believed; passion for the team exploded with the light of hope, with one foot in qualification and the other the quarterfinals.
Not until the last minutes was our smile erased by the Greek tying goal. Costa Rica was paralyzed; the shock was indescribable. The dream was dying, we were left breathless and time stood still but the team fought on with courage and gave everything, going beyond their physical ability. Our players’ legs could give no more, there were only ten out there, with the whole world watching. Costa Rica kept fighting with the only things they had: their SOUL, FAITH, and HEART.
In the penalty kicks they had chosen five to carry the responsibility for the country. For many it was a team without history, without stars. Five self-confident players never doubted themselves, and with bravery and undying faith, they demonstrated that we are alive and that nothing is certain or over yet.
After the game was won, people went completely crazy. Streets were impassable; people were dancing, crying, and overflowing with happiness; pets were dressed up; the party belonged to the TICOS. This small country erupted in happiness with the eleven players on the field, and there with them, more than four million people in a single heart. On Sunday there was no room for sadness, crisis, sickness or anguish, there was only soccer.
On Saturday we play against Holland and all expectations have already been exceeded. There is no pressure, no anxiety and no nervousness. There is motivation, because there are no losses but always the chance to learn.
It is an honor to play against the runner up; we are proud to have the chance to play them, HUMBLED by those who have kept us standing and hopeful until the end of our LIVES.