#FCRF Talent Development

Implementing the Talent Coach Programme in Costa Rica

Julio Murillo & Jorge Jiménez, 09 Jul 2024


As Football Development Director of the Costa Rican FA, Julio Murillo is determined to establish his association as a regional heavyweight in the men’s and women’s game. Happily for him, FIFA Regional Consultant Jorge Jiménez is on a mission to develop the game in the Americas, and there’s plenty of scope for a fruitful partnership.

A complementary relationship
To begin the interview,  Murillo and Jiménez describe their respective roles. As Costa Rica’s Football Development Director, Murillo has overarching responsibility for the association’s football development strategy and creating the infrastructure it needs to implement it, which means he works closely with clubs and national leagues to develop all forms of football in the country. FIFA Regional Consultant Jiménez can complement Murillo’s work by helping the association make maximum use of the FIFA programmes available to it, as well as by providing it with support and technical guidance to help it achieve its objectives. 

Early engagement bears fruit
Costa Rica has adopted FIFA’s Talent Coach Programme early and enthusiastically, and has been quick to reap the benefits. Encouraged by this early success, FIFA is  now working with the Costa Rican FA to expand the programme across the country, with a view to discovering even more exciting young talent. At the same time, FIFA is also providing advice and guidance on how to manage national sides and how Costa Rica can improve the range and quality of training it provides. The overall aim is to help the association deliver its vision for the future of Costa Rican football.

High hopes for the future
Costa Rica’s involvement in FIFA’s Talent Development Scheme has seen a step-change in the association’s approach to talent development. Costa Rica are determined to become more competitive at youth level, and are targeting qualification for the U-17 and U-20 World Cups, as well as a major investment in their fast-growing women’s game. Those big ambitions were a key reason why the Costa Rican FA wanted to be chosen to pilot the TDS in the Concacaf region, and Murillo is determined to make the most of the support FIFA can offer.

The challenges of developing the game in Central America 
Jorge Jiménez works across the Caribbean and Central America, and is therefore uniquely placed to assess the different challenges faced by FIFA’s member associations in the region. Talent identification and development is a high priority almost everywhere, along with the need to develop coach education programmes and infrastructure. FIFA’s Talent Coach Programme is looking to raise technical standards across the board and to give talented youngsters the contact time they need to realise their potential. Jiménez is key to stress that the impetus for all this work comes from the associations, with FIFA playing a supporting role.

Building relationships to reach the next level  
Murillo knows that Costa Rica have a lot of work ahead of them, but he is relishing the challenge. His association is working closely with FIFA, Concacaf and the Costa Rican government to develop its infrastructure and put the future of the game in the country on a sound footing. The FIFA TDS and the FIFA Foundation’s Football for Schools Programme are both key to their plans, and expanding them across the country will help create the systems they need to find and develop the next generation of Costa Rican internationals. 

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