With Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas in stellar form there is no telling how far they can go in the World Cup, midfielder Celso Borges said after they reached the quarter-finals.
Borges, who blasted home the first spot kick in Sunday’s 5-3 shootout win over Greece, praised Navas for his spectacular one-handed save that kept out Theofanis Gekas’s fourth spot-kick, leaving Michael Umana to score and clinch the victory.
“I think he was born on Mars or Venus or something,” a delighted Borges said of 27-year-old Navas, who plays for Spanish La Liga side Levante and has 57 caps.
“He’s fantastic, he has given us so much. He’s a leader on and off the pitch,” he told reporters after the Ticos reached the last eight for the first time.
“With his saves we will always get second chances. He’s a great person and he deserves all this. I’ve known him for quite a long time, he’s awesome,” the 26-year-old added.
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Borges said the players were aware of the reaction back in Costa Rica to their win on penalties after the game against Greece finished in a 1-1 draw after extra time, but he added that their achievement had not really sunk in yet.
“Until we get home, which I hope is not anytime soon, we’re not going to realise what we’ve done,” he said. “Right now we just see it as game, game, game, so we don’t have time to say, ‘Look what we’ve done’. We can’t fall into that comfort zone.”
While Costa Ricans celebrated, the players had already switched their attention to Saturay’s quarter-final against the Netherlands in Salvador, with Borges optimistic that they can pull off another shock result.
“Why not? It could happen,” he said. “If we work like this it could happen, but if we think we’ve done enough and just go on, we’re going to lose – Holland doesn’t forgive you in any sense. But it’s a new challenge, and it could happen.”