Óscar Duarte, uniter of nations, delivered an autographed Costa Rica jersey to Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega on Monday night.
The Nicaragua-born member of Costa Rica’s national team has been on a victory tour in his birth country after the Ticos’ historic World Cup run. And on Monday he received a tribute from the country’s president. He provided Ortega with his #6 La Sele uniform, which was signed by all the players on the Costa Rican squad.
Duarte was the first-ever Nicaraguan to play in the World Cup, and he scored the game-winner in Costa Rica’s opening match against Uruguay — an impressive header that proved to be one of the best goals of the tournament.
Duarte’s performance in Brazil earned his Costa Rican team fans throughout Nicaragua despite the tense relations between the two countries. The 25-year-old defender received a celebratory homecoming when he visited both Managua and his hometown of Catarina last week.
Ortega and Duarte met at the Registry of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), with only state-run media El 19 Digital given access to the event. Family members of the president and Duarte attended the tribute as well.
The player’s family also delivered a photo to Ortega of Duarte’s grandmother posing with the Sandinista leader in 1990.
The center-back will return to Costa Rica on Wednesday before flying on Friday to Belgium, where he plays professionally.