We've let the world know about Costa Rica - Gonzalez
By Football News
Giancarlo Gonzalez says Costa Rica have achieved their FIFA World Cup goal of alerting a wider audience to their country's football.
Few expected Jorge Luis Pinto's men to cause much of a stir in Brazil and that was even before they were drawn into the tough Group D alongside Uruguay, Italy and England.
After beating Uruguay 3-1 in their opening match, Costa Rica then went on to defeat Italy and draw with England, seeing them top the group with seven points.
A 10-man Costa Rica then beat Greece on penalties in the first knockout round, advancing to the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, with the Netherlands lying in wait.
While many countries set specific rounds of the competition as targets, Gonzalez claims Costa Rica simply set out to increase their nation's standing in global football and they will continue to do so against the Netherlands.
"That was one of our main goals here in Brazil," he told reporters. "Letting the world know about Costa Rican football.
"We have players performing well at major European leagues, so we want to show the world that they can open their doors to us.
"We are showing that we are made of and also that we can play in those leagues.
"It's quite obvious that this team has fought against everything: referees, stadiums, 100,000 people.
"I feel this upcoming game will be a war, in a good sense. They [the Netherlands] have their weapons and virtues.
"Of course there will always be mistakes. But we are ready to fight against anything."
Junior Diaz, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell and Celso Borges have all attracted praise for their performances so far in Brazil, but goalkeeper Keylor Navas has been the key according to Gonzalez.
"Keylor [Navas] is a great player," he added. "He helps us a lot because of his experience in La Liga.
"In Spain he faces the best players in the world and he passes that experience on to the group.
"He's a leader and you can see that in his performances. For us, having a goalkeeper of such qualities and playing at that level is key.
"As a national side and also as a country, we're proud of him because he's shown that he has the ability to play in any team and that he will perform the same way or even better than in here with us."