SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto will need every bit of his tactical know-how if he is to lead the Central American nation out of Group D at the World Cup, where the team will play Italy, England and Uruguay.
The vastly experienced Pinto is a keen admirer of Jose Mourinho's methodology and is hoping to prepare his team for what would be a major shock at his first World Cup.
Pinto and Costa Rica begin their World Cup campaign in Group D on June 14 against Uruguay in Fortaleza, followed by Italy on June 20 in Recife and England four days later in Belo Horizonte.
"Italy is a very tactical team, I know them well from the last five or six World Cups. Uruguay is robust and has important attackers. And England plays fast football, sometimes without much precision," Pinto said of Costa Rica's rivals.
One of three Colombian coaches at the World Cup, Pinto has led club sides in Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador and has had stints previously with both the Colombian and Costa Rican national teams.
Pinto was fired from Costa Rica in 2005 in his first spell as coach despite qualifying the team for the 2006 World Cup. He was let go as Colombia coach after a 4-0 loss to Chile on Sept. 10, 2008. Exactly five years later, Costa Rica earned its place in Brazil.