San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
La Sele

Costa Rica's Óscar Duarte, the first Nicaraguan to score in the World Cup, receives wonderful homecoming celebration

CATARINA, Nicaragua – Catarina, the birthplace of La Sele defender Óscar Duarte, the first Nicaraguan to score a World Cup goal, overflowed with fans receiving its most famous son last week.

Duarte, 25, scored the game-winning goal against Uruguay in Costa Rica’s first match of the tournament. When he stepped out onto the pitch, he became the first Nicaragua to ever play in a World Cup match – and then he became the first to score.

“They opened the door there [in Costa Rica] to achieve a dream I had as a child: playing in the World Cup, scoring a goal and being recognized by FIFA to be among the best players,” Duarte said.

He added: “I knew that my family and many people [in Nicaragua] were watching the game and that meant a lot.”

Thousands of fans walked around the truck that carried Duarte through his hometown. They raised their hands to touch him, passed him T-shirts to sign or simply greeted him.

A large procession followed the sports hero, playing philharmonic music and setting off firecrackers.

Duarte’s success at the World Cup puts him on the level of other Nicaraguan sports heroes like three-time boxing world champion Alexis Argüello and four-time Major League Baseball all-star Dennis Martínez.

By becoming the first Nicaraguan to play in the World Cup, Duarte helped lessen tensions between his homeland and Costa Rica — the two frequently bickering neighbors are involved in several border disputes.

Duarte celebrated that Nicaraguans, whose favorite sport is baseball, had given their support to Costa Rica and he expressed hope that “with time there will be better relations” between the two countries.

“Oscarito” as they call him in the neighborhood where his family lives, was declared a “favorite son” of Catarina by the municipal government. He was honored with a plaque recognizing his outstanding play.

Fans welcome Óscar Duarte as he arrives in Catarina, Nicaragua. Duarte played for Costa Rica in the World Cup Brazil 2014.


He kicked the ball since he was a child

More than 500,000 Nicaraguans have immigrated to their neighboring country in search of work to help their families. And Duarte left to Costa Rica with his mother at a young age.

“When he was a child and went with his mom to Costa Rica, he already carried with him the idea of playing football, because he walked around kicking a ball with the kids in the street, and once he broke the glass on an international bus passing through [the pueblo],” said neighbor Robert Gutiérrez while laughing.

The gestures of admiration for Duarte began when he arrived at the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, where young followers received him while waving Nicaraguan flags.

Before arriving in Catarina, a motorcade escorted him from Managua as he toured several neighboring villages where people came out of their houses to give tribute to the defender who plays professionally in Belgium.

“It’s an honor for us to have him as a neighbor,” said Miriam Hernández. “Always when he comes to visit his family in Nicaragua he is very happy and never conceited. He greets all of us.”

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Great article. Very well explianed…. too bad that some people is too dammy to understand.

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El Erizo

Just to clarified some error in your reporting this event.
1-We don’t bicker….we defend what is ours.
2-Costa Rica scored 3 goals.Oscar’s goal did not decided the confrontation
3-Oscar should not be playing in our team.It seems that he already choose his colors in the parade.He was playing for Costa Rica.Therefore our colors are the ones he should be wearing as many of his family did.
4-Lastly,we do not blame all the hard working Nicas that try to give theirs kids a better life for their miserable governments have had.
5-Get your facts .We are not invading Nicaraguan territory.We are no coming to Nicaragua to be a burden to their society and most important they should be grateful for what they havei n Costa Rica. We will never tolerate a visitor to distort the facts.Nicaraguans will always be jealous of our ways.They love to come and learn to live better in our society. Somehow they seem not to be able to do at home.Their frustration is the cause of always been bitter towards our country.They should direct those feeling towards USA.YOU KNOW THE HISTORY.Please stop blaming the Nicaraguan fiasco on us.If you will like to take sides,move to Managua.

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