The Uruguayan, Gustavo Matosas is the new coach of Costa Rica’s national team, FEDEFUTBOL announced. The move doesn’t come as a shock.

Rodolfo Villalobos (left) with Gustavo Matosas. Foto: Rafael Pacheco

The former Club America and Leon coach takes over for Oscar Ramirez, whose contract was not renewed following Costa Rica’s less than expected performance in the World Cup 2018 in Russia where it finished at the bottom of its group.

Matosas, 51, won two Liga MX titles with Leon and guided America to a 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League title. He has also coached clubs in Uruguay, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, and Argentina.

“This is a great honor for me, to represent, through the medium of the national team, a country like Costa Rica. It’s a marvelous challenge that has me feeling very enthusiastic. I’ve spoken with all the people in my immediate family because it’s a marvelous opportunity, so I’m going to take it on as though it were my own country,” said Matosas.

The coach said that the economic element was not a priority for him in joining the Costa Rican team, since his dream has always been to coach a team competing in the World Cup.

“There are times when dreams are worth more than money. I’d love to coach in a World Cup,” he said.

“Costa Rica has good players … with ability, strength, stamina, some who look very good, with speed. It’ll be necessary to have the most experienced players, but also the character of the youngest ones. We’re going to get it so the generational change comes about naturally,” he said.

Matosas will officially take over in 2019, but confirmed he would attend Costa Rica’s upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Colombia. Ronald Gonzalez will remain the interim coach for those matches, as well as friendlies against Peru and Chile in November.

The FEDEFUTBOL passed on Colombian Jorge Luis Pinto, who took Costa Rica to its best World Cup performance in 2014,  making it to the quarterfinals in Brazil after winning the “Group of Death” that featured Italy, Uruguay, and England.