Costa Rica’s Ramirez on facing Spain: “It’s going to be a high-level match”
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Oscar Ramirez (pictured), shown at a 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup press conference, has been Costa Rica’s head coach since August 2015. (Photo: AFP Services)

MALAGA, Spain – With an eye on next year’s World Cup, don’t expect Costa Rica head coach Oscar Ramirez to deviate much – if at all – from his usual lineup, when the Ticos face host Spain in an international friendly on Saturday at the Estadio La Rosaleda.

The opportunity to play a European power demands that the Central Americans are at the top of their game.

"We cannot experiment too much,” said Ramirez at a pre-game press conference Friday.  “The base of the selection will be used against Spain, with some changes we want to implement.  It’s going to be a high-level match, so we have to apply effectively within what Spain is going to present us and know how to resolve it.”

Spain-based midfielder Celso Borges believes the encounter will give Costa Rica a taste of what it can expect at Russia 2018.

"Competing with players who are at the highest level will help our preparation a lot in order to realize what the elite level is that we are going to face,” the Deportivo La Coruña standout remarked.  “All this will be trial and error, so as not to commit them during the World Cup.”

This will be the third all-time meeting the sides.  Spain leads the series with a 1W-1D-0L record, drawing at Costa Rica (2-2) on November 15, 2011, and winning at home (2-1) on June 11, 2015.

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