The spirit of Football in Costa Rica.

Call it as you wish. Futbol, Football, or Soccer. In Costa Rica as in the rest of Latin America. Futbol is at the center of the spirit of the population. Our source of emotions and conversation topics for the week. A guide to the general discourse. And the perfect «Ice Breaker». Everyone develops their own Friend-enemies. And the «Guasa» (playful mockery) is mandatory for those whose team is not doing so well…

But for many children more than a sport. It is a goal and a dream. Kids want to grow up fast. Play in a professional team, and go on TV. Hear the stadium chant their names. Many parents encourage this dream as an opportunity for their children. As a «just if»… he is lucky and good enough…

No matter where you go in Costa Rica every town has its church, its bar or cantina, and its Plaza de Futbol (Football Field) in the center.

Recently however I’ve seen a change in behavior. Costa Rica has increased its level and reputation as one of the strongest teams in the area. As we continue to improve our performances in World Cups (this was written before Spain hit us with 7 goals in Qatar 2022). The once very regular «mejengas» (semi improvise futbol games). Are less frequent now. At least in the cities. The practice of the sport has shifted. To professional «Football Schools». Where kids are evaluated and those with promising qualities are kept track of by the big teams.

I have noted an increase in Urban Sports and activities such as Dancing, Break Dancing, and Skating.

Perhaps the city and town are moving further apart. While any piece of more or less flat land was good for a Futbol Match, Skating does require more complex and expensive infrastructure.

I took this photo some years ago in Quepos.

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