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Italy a blueprint for Costa Ricans

Celso Borges, the Costa Rica midfielder, has acknowledged the influence that the Italian national team has had on his side.

The South Americans celebrated a largely unexpected win against Uruguay in their opening fixture and will seek to replicate the feat against the Italians tomorrow.

Traditionally, Costa Rican teams have relied on individuals to deliver success but they have since focused more on performing as a unit. It is a system they have adopted from Italy.

"In the national team we've managed to build ourselves a little bit like Italy in 2006 - a solid defensive group with very good players in attack," said Borges. "We don't elaborate too much, it's more like a knockout punch."

Their initial success in Brazil has been noted by their European opponents. "You cannot afford to think Italy will beat Costa Rica just because we are called Italy," said Daniele De Rossi, the Italy midfielder.

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