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Costa Rica's forward Bryan Ruiz (left) and midfielder Celso Borges will be eager to go out on a high in the Qatar World Cup. Image Credit: AP

San Jose: Three of Costa Rica’s greatest players will get one last shot at the World Cup playing together.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas, forward Bryan Ruiz and midfielder Celso Borges were all part of the team that reached the quarter-finals at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and then qualified again for the tournament in 2018.

The 37-year-old Ruiz has already said he will end his international career after this year’s tournament in Qatar.

Alongside the 35-year-old Navas and the 34-year-old Borges, Ruiz led Costa Rica to its best World Cup finish in Brazil. The team topped a group that included Italy, Uruguay and England, and then beat Greece on penalties in the round of 16.

Costa Rica coach Luis Fernando Suarez has said that Ruiz, who was not at his best during qualifying, will be in his squad because of his leadership over the years.

Tough group

For the tournament in Qatar, Costa Rica again had a difficult draw, placed into Group E with Spain, Germany and Japan.

The Ticos will open against Spain on November 23 before playing Japan four days later. The last match of the group stage will be against the Germans on December 1.

“What matters most to me is that every one of our players has full awareness of the skills our rivals have,” Suarez said. “Spain has ball possession, Japan has width on the field, Germany has intensity.”

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Costa Rica's veteran goalkeeper Keylor Navas celebrates his side's second goal against US during the qualifiers. Image Credit: AP file

The 62-year-old Suarez has previous World Cup experience. The Colombian coach took Ecuador to the tournament in 2006 and Honduras to the 2014 edition. He is expected to remain as coach of Costa Rica for the next four years. Costa Rica will play friendlies against Iraq and Nigeria before the World Cup starts.

The future

Costa Rica is likely to take some new faces to Qatar, including 18-year-old midfielder Brandon Aguilera — recently signed by Nottingham Forest — and Sunderland winger Jewison Bennette.

Suarez brought the latter to the national team before he had even played in the country’s first division.

And it was Bennette, who delivered the cross scored by Joel Campbell that gave Costa Rica its only goal in the international play-off victory over New Zealand.

Costa Rica will be playing in their sixth World Cup in Qatar. The team qualified in 1990, 2002 and 2006 before reaching the last two with Navas, Ruiz and Borges.