Soccer is the most popular sport in Costa Rica, almost a religion. Some say soccer became so popular in Costa Rica culture because one ball can be shared among many. Moreover, the game can be played almost everywhere. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a town in Costa Rica that doesn’t have at least one soccer field. Costa Rica soccer is paramount in this country. Usually, a soccer field is located next to the other vital institutions of the village, such as the church and grocery stores.
Generally speaking, men tend to be more passionate about the game than women, but there are plenty of female fans and teams as well. Anytime one of the Costa Rican teams are playing, you can be sure all of the neighborhood bars will be full of people watching “fútbol” with their friends. Soccer is an important part of the Costa Rican traditions. It is not just a sport, but a part of the Tico pride and identity.
Costa Rica Culture: Popular Teams
Costa Rica’s professional league is called Primera División which was founded in 1921. The league is composed of 12 teams, with Saprissa (33 titles), Alajuelense (29 titles) and Herediano (26 titles) being the most successful. As goes with any sports team that has a dedicated fan base, the rivalry between teams can be fierce. These 12 teams compete year-round in two seasons: a summer season from February to June, and a winter season from July to December. Additionally, as part of the Costa Rica culture, we have a great national team. This team has qualified for several World Cups in 1990, 2002, 2006 and 2014.
National Costa Rica Soccer Team – La Sele
The National Costa Rica Soccer Team, beloved and supported by their fans and country. The team, referred to by their nickname, La Sele, coming from the Spanish word ‘selección.’ La Sele has a rich history. The first time they qualified for the World Cup was in 1989, and during the Italy World Cup in 1990 the team was able to make it into the last 16 teams. The Costa Rica soccer team entered the World Cup 2002 and made it to the 19th spot. Again in 2006, La Sele qualified and played in the World Cup but sadly finished 31 out of 32 teams. 2014 brought another year that the team qualified for the FIFA World Cup, during the qualifying round they finished second place in CONCACAF, making history for the soccer team and Costa Rica!
FIFA World Cup 2014
On June 14, 2014, Costa Rica landed in Group D, need to face off against football giants of Italy, Uruguay, and England. The first game was Uruguay vs. Costa Rica. This epic game had everyone jumping from his or her seats cheering Costa Rica, the game ended with Uruguay 1 – 3 Costa Rica. Then on June 20 Costa Rica faced off against Italy, and Costa Rica made history when it won with Italy 0 – 1 Costa Rica. The next game against England on June 24 and ended with a draw, 0-0. Costa Rica set to play Greece in their next match on June 29, 2014. This historic battle game was non-stop nail-biting action that had to go into extra time and decided ultimately by penalty kicks. Costa Rica’s penalties score against Greece was 5 – 3 Greece.
Check a little more of it here: Costa Rica World Cup