Costa Rica (i/ /, meaning "rich coast" in Spanish), officially the Republic of Costa Rica (Spanish: Costa Rica or República de Costa Rica, pronounced: [reˈpuβlika ðe ˈkosta ˈrika]), is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.
Costa Rica constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. It is the only Latin American country to have been a democracy since 1950 or earlier. Costa Rica has consistently been among the top Latin American countries in the Human Development Index (HDI), ranked 62nd in the world in 2012.
Estadio Azteca (Spanish pronunciation: [esˈtaðjo aθˈteka], Aztec Stadium) is a stadium in Santa Ursula, Mexico City, Mexico. It is the official home stadium of the Mexico national football team and the Mexican club Club América.
The stadium was the venue for football in the 1968 Summer Olympics.
Mexico City (/ /; Spanish: Ciudad de México [sjuˈðað ðe ˈmexiko], officially known as México, D. F., or simply D.F.) is the Federal District (Distrito Federal), capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole. Mexico City is the country's largest city as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.
As an "alpha" global city Mexico City is one of the most important financial centers in North America. It is located in the Valley of Mexico (Valle de México), a large valley in the high plateaus at the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 metres (7,350 ft). The city consists of sixteen boroughs.
The Mexico national football team represents Mexico in association football and is governed by the Mexican Football Federation (FMF), the governing body for football in Mexico. Mexico's home stadium is the Estadio Azteca and their head coach is Miguel Herrera. The team is currently ranked 24 in the FIFA World Rankings and 24 in the World Football Elo Ratings.
Mexico has qualified for fourteen World Cups and has qualified consecutively since 1994; Mexico played France in the very first match of the first World Cup on 13 July 1930. Mexico's best progression was reaching the Quarterfinals in both the 1970 and 1986 FIFA World Cups, both of which were staged on Mexican soil.
† Appearances (Goals).
Carlos Arnoldo Salcido Flores (born 2 April 1980 in Ocotlán, Jalisco) is a Mexican international football defender who currently plays for Liga MX club Tigres UANL and the Mexican National Team, mainly as a center midfielder.
The CONCACAF Gold Cup (Spanish: Copa de Oro de la CONCACAF) is the main association football competition of the men's national football teams governed by CONCACAF, determining the regional champion of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.
The Gold Cup is held every two years. Previous to 2015, when the Gold Cup did not fall on the same year as the FIFA Confederations Cup, the winner, or highest placed team that is a member of both CONCACAF and FIFA, qualified for the next staging of that tournament. Beginning in 2015, the winners of two successive Gold Cups (the 2013 and 2015 editions in the first instance) will face each other in a playoff to determine the CONCACAF entrant to the next Confederations Cup. If the same team has won the Gold Cup on both relevant occasions, there will be no playoff and that team will automatically qualify for the Confederations Cup.
Mexico's most popular sport is association football. It is believed by some that football was introduced in Mexico by English miners at the end of the 19th century. By 1902 a five-team league emerged with a strong English influence. Football became a professional sport in 1943. Since then, Mexico's top clubs have been Guadalajara and América with 11 championships, Toluca with 10 and Cruz Azul with 8. Antonio Carbajal was the first player to appear in five World Cups, and Hugo Sánchez was named best CONCACAF player of the 20th century by IFFHS. Mexican's biggest stadiums are Estadio Azteca, Estadio Olímpico Universitario and Estadio Jalisco. As of 2006, it was estimated that there were over 324,000 registered players and 8,155,000 unregistered players in the country.
Football has been played professionally in Mexico since the early 1900s, with the first club being C.F. Pachuca. Since 1996, the country has played two split seasons instead of a traditional long season. There are two separate playoff and league divisions. This system is common throughout Latin America. After many years of calling the regular seasons as "Verano" (Summer) and "Invierno" (Winter); Liga MX (historically Primera División de México, Mexican First League Division) have changed the names of the competition, and has opted for a traditional name of "Apertura" (opening) and "Clausura" (closing) events. The Apertura division begins in the middle of Mexico's summer and ends before the official start of winter. The Clausura division begins during the New Year, and concludes in the spring season.
Association football, commonly known as soccer or football, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by using any part of the body besides the arms and hands to get the football into the opposing goal.
The goalkeepers are the only players allowed to touch the ball with their hands or arms while it is in play and then only in their penalty area. Outfield players mostly use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use their head or torso to strike the ball instead. The team that scores the most goals by the end of the match wins. If the score is tied at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time and/or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. The Laws of the Game were originally codified in England by The Football Association in 1863. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA; French: Fédération Internationale de Football Association) which organises a World Cup every four years.