San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica's national soccer team selected to grand marshal annual Christmas parade

Before Costa Rica returns to the World Cup for the first time in eight years, the national soccer team, known as “La Sele,” will receive a stately send-off as grand marshals of Festival de la Luz 2013.

The San José Municipality picked the national team as the centerpiece of the annual Christmas parade last week. Mayor Sandra García Pérez announced the decision during a press conference Thursday at the Plaza de la Cultura in downtown San José. The annual procession through San José will take place Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.

National team members Celso Borges, Michael Barrantes and Jonathan McDonald attended the conference, along with assistant coaches Paulo César Wanchope, Luis Marín and Luis Gabelo Conejo. Costa Rica Football Federation president Eduardo Li also joined in the ceremony.

This is the second time the national team has received the honor to marshal the Festival de la Luz. According to the daily La Nación, the squad led the parade in 2001 after it qualified for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

The 2014 World Cup in Brazil begins June 12.

Matt Levin is a correspondent for The Tico Times

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