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Jorge Luis Pinto will not return as Costa Rica head coach

Jul 24, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

jorge_luis_pinto AP

Cinderella has lost her fairy godmother. After guiding Costa Rica to the World Cup quarterfinals, Colombian manager Jorge Luis Pinto will not return to the Ticos, a surprising turn considering the popularity he gained during his team’s run in Brazil. Unable to reach a new contract agreement with the Costa Rican federation, the 61-year-old’s now in search of a new starlet to guide to the ball.

“I want to heartily thank Mr. Pinto,” Eduardo Li, president of the Costa Rican federation, said at a press conference in San Jose. “The entire Costa Rican public, coaches and managers are pleased with what was achieved in Brazil.”

“Unfortunately, we we’re able to come to an agreement on a few aspects [of a new contract].”

According to Pinto, speaking at the same press conference, disagreements within the federation’s technical staff contributed to the decision. Li, however, remains open to the idea of having the Colombian boss back.

“The doors are still open. We won’t rule out the opportunity of having Mr. Pinto back in the future.”

Pinto joined Costa Rica for the second time in 2011, guiding the Ticos to second in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. In Brazil, drawn with England, Italy, and Uruguay, Costa Rica faced long odds of advancing out  of its group, but after being eliminated on penalty kicks by the Netherlands in the quarterfinals, Pinto’s team left the competition undefeated.

“The success was everyone’s,” Pinto explained, “not just mine, everyone’s.”

With that success, Pinto should have no problem finding a job in Colombia, where the former national team boss has served as head coach with Millionarios, Santa Fe, Deportivo Cali, Atlético Junior, and Atlético Nacional, among others.

The bigger question, given how much influence Pinto had on their success: Where does Costa Rica turn now?

  1. gor3hound - Jul 24, 2014 at 8:49 PM

    I don’t like his style, don’t like the kind of football his teams plays, don’t want him as my national team’s coach, but I have to accept he made a hella of a run in Brazil.
    Btw, is atletico Nacional, not el Nacional.

  2. Nicholas Mendola - Jul 24, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Feels really backwards of CR.

  3. rodge1 - Jul 25, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    He has a job waiting for another country’s national team.

  4. mazblast - Jul 25, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    “disagreements within the federation’s technical staff contributed to the decision”

    Or someone with the big boys within FIFA got upset that the upstarts had the nerve, the gall, the unmitigated audacity to even think they were allowed to sit at the adults’ table, and paid someone to throw a shoe into the machinery.

    I agree with rodge1–He’ll find a job easily and quickly.

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