From Costa Rica with love: Johnny Acosta's journey from the World Cup to East Bengal


Johnny Acosta represented Costa Rica at each the 2014 and 2018 World Cups.

As first impressions go, Johnny Acosta says he was extra amused than aggravated at his preliminary glimpse of the chaos of Indian soccer.

As I-League giants East Bengal’s premier signing of the season, Acosta, who had performed as a defender for Costa Rica on the 2018 World Cup, was being paraded at a press convention in Kolkata in August however the ceremony hit a hitch. One which they could have been anticipated to plan for. Acosta is a Spanish speaker however with no translator organized, the occasion shortly descended into farce. At one level, East Bengal officers tried to make use of google translate however that plan too was foiled owing to an absence of web protection on the convention room.

“It was fairly humorous greater than something,” Acosta mentioned on Tuesday (by means of a translator this time) forward of the launch of the 2018 version of the I-League. Jokes aside, Acosta is not anticipating any communication hassle as soon as he is on the pitch. 

Having performed a number of video games of the Calcutta League and likewise having educated along with his squad, Acosta says he is adapting effectively. “It helps that I’ve two team-mates (Mexican striker Enrique Esqeda and Spanish defender Borja Perez) who converse Spanish so the dialog often flows easily. As for my different team-mates, I am studying a little bit of English and my teammates are studying a number of phrases of Spanish. And naturally all of us perceive the fundamental phrases reminiscent of left and proper,” he says.

That language barrier although did not come as a shock for Acosta. He had carried out a little bit of analysis on his personal when he first bought the supply to play in India. “I first bought the decision from my supervisor in July after I was touring again to my membership in Colombia (Rionegro Aguila). I get affords to play around the globe however India was nonetheless one thing I hadn’t anticipated,” says Acosta.

Not sure what to make of it, he referred to as up a compatriot Alexandre Guimaraes who had coached the Indian Tremendous League aspect Mumbai Metropolis FC for 2 seasons. “He was very constructive about me coming to India. He mentioned the extent of soccer in India goes up daily and that East Bengal was a really large membership so I needed to come and participate.”

The 35-year-old did his personal analysis too. “I googled to see what East Bengal was, what stage they performed and the sort of followers that they had. Additionally I wished to expertise a unique nation and a unique tradition,” he says.

Johnny Acosta tries to stop Neymar during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Brazil and Costa Rica
Acosta considers enjoying towards Neymar on the World Cup one of many best experiences of his profession.

East Bengal for his or her half had good motive to need to signal Acosta, whom they finally did for an estimated $232,000. Over the course of a seven-year worldwide profession, Acosta has earned 71 caps for his nation, representing them on the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. In actual fact, his supervisor conveyed the supply from East Bengal at the same time as he was making his journey again to South America from Moscow.

Acosta has a tattoo of the World Cup trophy on his left forearm to commemorate what he considers the spotlight of his profession – competing in two of them. “Each participant needs to signify his nation on the World Cup and I used to be fortunate to have the ability to get the prospect to try this,” he says.

Over the course of these two tournaments, Acosta has had an opportunity to check his expertise towards a number of the greatest groups and gamers on the earth. The one he marks out as particular although was in Costa Rica’s league recreation on the 2018 World Cup, towards Brazil. “Each attacker is troublesome to play towards as a result of that is why they’re there within the workforce squad. However enjoying towards a participant like Neymar is nice expertise. He’s an incredible participant and maybe one of many best,” says Acosta.

Acosta must come to phrases with the very fact it is he who would be the star participant everybody may have their eyes on throughout his stint in India. Over the few matches he is performed to this point, he has slowly gotten a greater understanding of the accountability anticipated of him.

“India has been nice for me to this point. I’ve solely performed a number of matches however the pitches have been good and the followers have been glorious. It could be good to get to know extra of the nation however my consideration can be on the soccer. I’ve come to do a job right here and I need to do it effectively for East Bengal.”

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