Wales - Costa Rica Preview: Hosts paying tribute to Gary Speed with friendly

The life of the former Newcastle man, who died in November, will be celebrated in a match with the side whom he made his international debut against in 1990



Matthews, Collins, Williams, Gunter
Ledley, Allen, Crofts
Bellamy, Morison, Bale

Costa Rica

Umana, Diaz, Miller, Oviedo
Azofeifa, Tejeda, Wallace, Barrantes
Ruiz, Campbell

Aaron Ramsey has dropped out of the Wales squad after picking up an ankle injury in Arsenal's FA Cup loss to Sunderland.

Back-up keeper Boaz Myhill (Achilles) is also a doubt for the home side.

Costa Rica's prolific striker Alvaro Saborio is not available for the friendly after the Real Salt Lake man suffered a knee injury in an MLS game against LA Galaxy.

  • Costa Rica were the chosen opponents for this match in memory of the late Gary Speed because they were the side he made his international debut against in 1990.
  • Speed's debut against Costa Rica finished with Wales winning 1-0.
  • Costa Rica are unbeaten in their last three games against Spain, Cuba and Venezuela.
  • Wales have won five of their last six matches, only falling to beat England.
  • During Speed's spell as manager of Wales they moved from 117th to 45th in the Fifa World Rankings, claiming the title of best movers at the end of 2011.
  • Craig Bellamy is Wales' 5th top scorer only nine goals short of all-time leader Ian Rush.
  • This is manager Jorge Luis Pinto's second stint in charge of Costa Rica after a short spell in 2004-2005.
  • Costa Rica legend Paolo Wanchope is now assistant manager of the national side.