Luis Fernando Suárez: balance of his qualification for the World Cup, interview – International Soccer – Sports

In the first seven dates, Costa Rica only had six points. How do they straighten the path?

There are situations where drastic decisions must be made. One decision was for the coaching staff to leave; another, that there was support, as indeed happened on the part of the Federation. They made a lot of sacrifices. The tournament was stopped several times, we began to do work as if we were a club, with work microcycles that were very good, and then we made the decision to make an express transition, calling up some players who did not have much experience and who we believed that they could answer. Fortunately they did.

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You brought a base from the past World Cups and you gradually included pieces. How did you manage to put them together?

Making transitions is one thing, changing everything at a stroke is totally counterproductive. The important thing is that the greatest, Keylor Navas, Celso Borges, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell himself, who already has a lot of games on him, took part in this. When we called these guys there was a good synergy. There was a 17-year-old boy, a 20-year-old, a very low average. They got into the story and something interesting happened: the adults just wanted to teach and the little ones wanted to learn.

Luis Fernando Suárez (left) celebrates with Keylor Navas (right).


Alberto Estevez. Eph

What can you apply from your experiences in the previous two World Cups?

If I am repeating a story that I lived with Ecuador or that I lived with Honduras, I am doing something wrong. It would be a sign that things are not right. It is a different experience. There is one thing that is common, that I want to be in a World Cup again, but they are three totally different countries and there are three different coaches: Suárez from Ecuador is one, Suárez from Honduras is another and I hope that Suárez from Qatar is a lot better.

How is that Colombian component that you have in your coaching staff?

If there is any virtue that I have as a coach, it is knowing how to choose my teammates. My assistant, John Bodmer, is very restless. I met him when I directed at Equidad, we faced each other in a friendly. His speech seemed very important to me, how he did it. Then we had a conversation and he seems to me to be an important person for the future of Colombia. With Felipe Camacho, the psychologist, we did work seven, eight years ago. It’s a different way to add something to soccer training. He has charisma and the players copy him. And the third is Iván Niño, whom I met now that I was in Bucaramanga. He is 29 years old and he is a sponge, what he wants is to learn.

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“If I am repeating a story that I lived with Ecuador or that I lived with Honduras, I am doing something wrong. It would be a sign that things are not right.”

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Do you aspire at some point to reach the Colombian National Team?

The truth is, there has not been a situation similar to that of that moment, where there was a wish from the people of the Federation and a possibility from me. I have been working a lot on the outside and it has gone well for me. So right now, I don’t think of that as the most important thing. If it happens, it is because it has to happen. Now it is much more difficult than before, I am absorbed in what is Costa Rica, Colombia has its coach for four years and the more time passes, the less possibility of doing it. The most important thing is that, with what I have lived, I have been calm and I have represented Colombia.

Jose Orlando Ascencio
Sports Sub-Editor

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