Q & A: Costa Rica's Alexander Guimares
Posted: Tuesday April 23, 2002 3:17 PM
do you think of the draw?
It's interesting because our opponents represent three different
schools of soccer. Above all, the main obstacle are Brazil, and
if we do well in that match, it opens a window of possibilities.
Turkey are very passionate, but their fans are not so patient. China
are intriguing because they are an unknown quantity. It won't be
the same as in 1990, where we reached the second round without any
are your key players?
The spine of our team is: Erick Lonnis (goalkeeper), Gilberto Martinez
(defense), Mauricio Solis, Rolando Fonseca (midfield), Paulo Wanchope
and Ronald Gomez (forwards).
will the conditions affect you?
Going to the Orient with plenty of time to acclimatise will make
a big difference. We will arrive three weeks before the start of
the tournament. I don't think the rain or humidity will make a difference.
In Costa Rica there are parts of the country which are humid. We
will get used to the setting beforehand.
will win the World Cup?
France, Argentina, Brazil or Portugal.
will be the surprises?
I think Portugal will confirm what they have already shown. They
have a generation of players who are of a very high level. I don't
like to talk about individual players, but I would like one of the
Ticos (Costa Rica) to be the player who surprises the critics.
Costa Rican football.
The Costa Rican player is extremely noble, disciplined and dedicated
-- that's very important for a trainer. He is also very technically
gifted. Every town has a church and a football field -- that is how
things are in Costa Rica.
are your expectations of the World Cup?
We're full of good feelings. It will be our second World Cup, and
we hope to enjoy it to the maximum. The World Cup is a party, and
for us, a country that has such difficulty reaching the finals,
we have to live it, enjoy it and take advantage of it.
is the best player in the world?
I don't feel right now there is one player indisputably better than
the rest, as there was in other times. There are several that can
confirm their status as a superstar: Raul, Figo, Owen, Zidane, Rivaldo,
Veron. But these days, the stars need the team around them.
you took the job, did you imagine it leading to this?
I knew we had possibilities. I knew we had a very good group of
players who wanted to show Costa Rica had talent. But the way we
qualified, first in the CONCACAF region, as top scorers and with
the best defence, it would be naive to think we would have imagined
that. But you have to set high goals.
people wrong to talk about Wanchope all the time?
They're not wrong because every team always have a player who is
a symbol. In this case, Paulo is a symbol for Costa Rica. In the
previous generation, Hernan Medford was the symbolic player. And
Paulo has proven himself in a very competitive league in England.
But I'm sure Costa Rica will show other interesting and talented