By Alfonso Duro / VOXXI
July 2nd, 2014 (VOXXI) Costa Rica has made it into the select group of the top eight teams in the world. The Central American nation is so far the biggest surprise in the 2014 World Cup, after coming out alive of the toughest group in the first round, and then kicking out Greece in the round of sixteen. Above all, one man has been the standout in the first two weeks of competition: Jorge Luis Pinto.
So far, the Colombian manager has taken Costa Rica to their best performance in an international tournament in history, and that’s something nobody will be able to take away. Now, he wants more.
During his career, Pinto has made a name for himself in South and Central America as a winning coach. In Colombia, Peru, Venezuela and Costa Rica, he has lead teams to victory, and with Costa Rica’s National Team he is now at helm of the best generation of footballers the country can remember.
These 30 days in Brazil will not be easily forgotten by the manager, who is not only happy because of Costa Rica’s performance, but also because of his actual National Team, Colombia, out doing themselves in the World Cup.
Ironically, both Colombia and the Ticos are managed by foreigners –with Argentine Jose Pekerman handling the reins at the Cafeteros–, and although Jorge Luis Pinto has been in many short-lists to take charge in his home country in the past, his work with Costa Rica is far from being done.
The Central American team now has probably the best generation of upcoming talent the country has seen in the last 20 years, and Pinto is just the man to manage it efficiently. The Colombian is a devout tactical follower of Jose Mourinho, as he mentioned after the Ticos’ victory against Italy, and although he is probably more liked than the Chelsea’s head coach in the international stage, his methods are eerily similar to the Portuguese’s.
Costa Rica’s triumphant march in Brazil, put together with Colombia’s surprising performance, are making this summer one to remember for Pinto, and the coach doesn’t want to wake up from this dream.
He is connected to two of the top players in the World Cup, as he coaches Keylor Navas and is a compatriot of James Rodriguez, and if he is able to get past Holland and make it to the semifinal round, the Costa Rican government may as well name a city in the country after him.
While the Jose Pekerman era will not be ending anytime soon in Colombia, after Costa Rica’s performance in this World Cup it’s not crazy to think that Jorge Luis Pinto will be considered when the time come up to replace the Argentine in his spot.
For the Colombian manager, however, it is quite crazy to think that what could have been a normal run in the World Cup without any repercussions, could become the most magical month of his life and have a huge long-term impact in his career.