Joel Campbell has described playing at this summer's World Cup as the best experience of his life.
The forward played a starring role as Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals for the first time in their history, before losing on penalties to the Netherlands.
Campbell, who scored in the opening game against Uruguay, says the tournament has had a profound impact on him and his team-mates.
I learnt that a Costa Rican player could compete with the best in the world. We have to keep on proving itJoel Campbell
“Playing at the World Cup was the best experience of my life so far,” he told Arsenal Player. “The World Cup is something unique. My team-mates and I worked really hard and made history for our country. We are really happy about that.
“What we did was a milestone for us. We wanted to make history, we wanted to exceed the last 16 that Costa Rica reached at the 1990 World Cup. This year we reached the quarter-finals and that will mark a turning point in our history.
“It was a confidence booster for me. If the Costa Rican national team keeps up the good work we will stay up with the best teams. I learnt that a Costa Rican player could compete with the best in the world. We all have to keep on proving it.”
The tournament also propelled Campbell onto the world stage, especially after his well-taken goal against Uruguay.
“I will never forget that goal,” he said. “I wanted to score so I could dedicate it to my yet-to-be-born daughter. It was a really important goal for me.
“I remember I was approaching the box slowly as the ball reached our right back. At that time I didn’t expect him to produce a cross. In fact, I thought the ball was going out.
“Anyway, he managed to deliver the ball into the box and it came to me unexpectedly. I controlled it with my chest and fired it into the net with all my heart. Thank God I scored!”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 4 Sep 2014