ST. PETERSBURG, Russia – The Costa Rican national soccer team on Wednesday held its first-ever training session on Russian soil ahead of their 2018 World Cup debut.
Oscar Ramirez’s squad trained before hundreds of Russian fans – most of whom were children – at Olimpiyets stadium, in Pavlosk, a community south of St. Petersburg, in the afternoon, following a morning of photoshoots and press conferences.
Captain Bryan Ruiz, however, exercised separately, as he is still recovering from injury.
The training session consisted of an assortment of exercises, including pig-in-the-middle drills and 6-on-6 scrimmages, followed by a mid-field session at which Ramirez specifically had the team’s defense squad working to hone their skills.
The Costa Ricans then took to signing autographs for the attendees, who went especially crazy for Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The team will continue their training on Thursday afternoon before leaving for Samara on Friday, where they will debut against Serbia.
Costa Rica will also compete in Group E against five-time champion Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland.