San José Feature

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Soccer in Costa Rica

Sports mean one thing in San José: soccer. Very young boys (and a slowly increasing number of girls) kick around a ball—or some other object if no ball is available—in street pickup games, and they grow into fans passionate about their local team. But everyone puts aside regional differences when the reputation of Costa Rica's national team is on the line, as it is during the World Cup.

Consult the Spanish-language daily La Nación or ask at your hotel for details on upcoming games—you simply show up at the stadium box office. Prices range from $3 to $15. Sombra numerado (shaded seats) are the most expensive.

Professional soccer matches are usually played on Sunday morning or Wednesday night in either of two San José stadiums. The Estadio Ricardo Saprissa (next to the Clínica Integrada de Tibás) is home to Saprissa, the capital's beloved hometown team, and is in the northern suburb of Tibás; the spanking-new, Chinese-built Estadio Nacional sits at the northwest corner of La Sabana park and hosts visiting national teams who come to take on La Sele, Costa Rica's own national squad, no doubt looking for a 2014 World Cup berth.

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