Sunday, June 29, 2014

Viva Costa Rica

If you aren't living under a rock or shuffling in outer space, then most likely you've heard something about the world cup, the biggest event in soccer.... the soccer olympics, of sorts, that comes around just once every 4 years.  I, for one, am not much of a soccer fan myself but it is hard to not hear, read or see what is going on now with all the competing countries vying for their chance THE world cup.  And if you have access to internet or television or newspaper or radio, then you've heard about Costa Rica, who just made history today by making it to the 2nd qualifying round of the FIFA world cup, becoming one of the best 8 competing teams in the world.  The first Central American country to do so.... way to go Costa Rica.

If you want to see how people celebrate a historical victory over a European giant, then come to Costa Rica.  Today is INSANE.  Ticos of all ages are 'loco', out of their minds with emotion and happiness, it would bring tears of joy to anyone's eyes.  The excitement in the air is so invigorating; not sure how people will go to bed tonight, as in true Tico style, the celebration will most likely continue until the wee hours of the morning.

The game was a true heart-wrencher, with Costa Rica and Greece tied at 1-1, having to go to penalty kicks to decide the ultimate winner, the country that would qualify on to the next round.  Out of the 16 teams left, only 8 would advance on to the next round, with each country getting just one chance to prove their might.

As a small country, with far less 'talent' than most of the European and bigger latin juganauts, Costa Rica was not expected to advance past the first round.  They weren't even expected to win their first game against Uruguay.  But not only did they blow their first competition out of the water, they went on to not only beat Italy but eliminated England as well.  Costa Rica came out on top over 3 former world cup champion countries, proving to the world that small countries can have big talent.  Their surprise victories got the world talking, as everyone started to take notice of "the little country that could".

For the first time since 1996 (I think, but don't quote me), Costa Rica had made it past the first round in the World Cup.  It was a HUGE deal.  But if anyone was thinking that Costa Rica just got lucky, well todays game proved that theory wrong.  Up against Greece, with one less player, Costa Rica proved again to the world that it's talent, not luck, that got them to where they are.  They are scheduled to play Holand next and as a non-soccer fan, I hope Costa Rica kicks ASS.

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