In today’s opener in Fortaleza, Pinto’s men take on a Uruguay side which has high hopes of improving on its run to the semifinals in 2010, despite the uncertainty hanging over striker Luis Suarez following knee surgery three weeks ago.
Hard-working Costa Rica resumed training within hours of arriving on Tuesday at their southern World Cup camp in Santos, where Brazilian great Pele used to play.
Key to their success as a Central American spoiler, says the coach, is the notion that the pressure will be on all three of their opponents to win.
“We will play without fear. We face three world champions and we can take them all on,” Pinto said. “What we feel is joy and motivation.
Uruguay may have more talent on the bench that many countries could hope for, but the South American nation is worried about the recovery of striker Suarez, who led Liverpool to the brink of its first league title in a generation and scored 11 goals in qualifying for his country.
“Age affects things like speed and other player characteristics of the players, but Forlan is still a very big part of this team, bringing his experience, presence on the pitch and great shooting skill from distance,” Tabarez said.
Uruguay’s ambitions, Tabarez said, require a win in Fortaleza.
“The Costa Ricans are fast and they will try and make life difficult for us,” the 67-year-old coach said. “Costa Rica is a major obstacle and we have a lot of respect for them. But our intention is to get the three points.”