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The defender is delighted to have increased his nation's footballing profile at the World Cup in Brazil

Giancarlo Gonzalez says Costa Rica has achieved its World Cup goal of alerting a wider audience to the country's football.

Few expected Jorge Luis Pinto's men to cause much of a stir in Brazil, and that was even before they were drawn into a tough Group D alongside Uruguay, Italy and England.

After beating Uruguay 3-1 in its opening match, Costa Rica then went on to defeat Italy and draw with England, seeing it top the group with seven points.

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Then the Ticos beat Greece on penalties in the first knockout round, despite ending the game with 10 men, and advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time in its history, with the Netherlands lying in wait.

"That was one of our main goals here in Brazil," he told reporters. "Letting the world know about Costa Rican football. We have players performing well at major European leagues, so we want to show the world that they can open their doors to us. We are showing that we are made of and also that we can play in those leagues.

"It's quite obvious that this team has fought against everything: referees, stadiums, 100,000 people," the Columbus Crew defender continued. "I feel this upcoming game will be a war, in a good sense. They [Netherlands] have their weapons and virtues. Of course there will always be mistakes. But we are ready to fight against anything."

Junior Diaz, Bryan Ruiz, Joel Campbell and Celso Borges have all attracted praise for their performances so far in Brazil, but goalkeeper Keylor Navas  - who has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid - has been the key, according to Gonzalez.

"Keylor [Navas] is a great player," he added. "He helps us a lot because of his experience in La Liga. In Spain he faces the best players in the world and he passes that experience on to the group.

"He's a leader and you can see that in his performances. For us, having a goalkeeper of such qualities and playing at that level is key. As a national side and also as a country, we're proud of him because he's shown that he has the ability to play in any team and that he will perform the same way or even better in here with us."

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