Costa Rica’s World Cup


This cartoon was originally published in The Costa Rica Star June 15, 2018.

I am no soccer hooligan because I don’t know much of anything about soccer or futbol. But I was aware that Costa Rica made an amazing run through the World Cup in 2014 reaching the quarterfinals. They were one of the last four teams that year in Brazil, which is an amazing thing for a nation of only five million people. This is a nation that never even made it to the tournament finals until 1990, and not again until 2002.

In 2014, they defeated Uruguay and Italy and had drawn with England, Greece, and Netherlands. Two wins and three draws was a great accomplishment, which is why I don’t understand soccer. Fortunately for team Le Sele, they didn’t face Brazil in Brazil in 2014. Because Brazil is a team they have never been able to defeat.

They lost to Brazil in 1990 and 2002. This year, they are in the same group as Brazil. But, they were bringing back the same group of athletes that composed the 2014 team. That’s good, right? No. The same group of guys is four years older. The soccer experts I read had very little enthusiasm for Le Sele’s chances this year. They were right.

I anticipated that with this cartoon. The Star’s columnist told me about bars opening at 6:00 AM on a Sunday to watch the Ticos play their first game in Russia. I thought that’s way too early to drink beer while your team is getting their ass kicked. Why would you want to get up early for that? But again, I don’t get soccer or the people who freak out about it.

If you serve enough beer to your soccer fan pub patrons at 6:00 AM, maybe they won’t notice they’re watching a tape from 2014. As it turns out, Costa Rica lost that game to Serbia. On Friday, they met Brazil again and now they’re 0-3 against that nation. They face Switzerland this Wednesday and even if they win, they’re going home early.

All of this is probably for naught anyway since the tournament is in Russia this year. I’m sure Vladimir Putin wouldn’t rig a soccer match. This is where we all roll our eyes together.

Be sure to check out this week’s cartoon for The Star.

Here’s the video.

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