The last fortnight has shown that you underestimate Costa Rica at your own peril, but Paul Watson discovers that’s exactly what Holland intend to do...
Netherlands players have stressed they don’t expect to have any problems at all with Costa Rica, giving them plenty of time to prepare for their semi-final without any possibility of a comeuppance.
Having struggled past a Mexico side that pushed them harder than expected, Netherlands players looked much more relaxed in training as they rehearsed the five celebrations they will use during the game against Costa Rica.
"It’ll be nice to get a good kick around before the semi," Wesley Sneijder told FourFourTwo. "That is, if Costa Rica manage to get there with boots and everything. But it’ll be a lovely chance for them to get to meet us, and maybe we can sign some stuff for them.
"You know what, we might even give them an early goal on the break. It seems like a nice thing to do."
Costa Rica have already stunned Uruguay and Italy, who spent much of the 90 minutes trying to teach Joel Campbell a juggling trick, but Louis van Gaal's men don’t seem worried.
"We’re taking everything for granted," Arjen Robben beamed. "I can’t ever remember a time when the team expected to win a football match didn’t do so.
"I love Costa Rica. I love how they pass it around just like a real team, you know, like a European team.
"And that little Bryan Ruiz, well he’s just adorable," Robben concluded, cooing at the memory of the 6ft 2in forward.
Costa Rica have hinted they might respond by overestimating Holland, cowering in fear every time a Dutch player gets the ball and erecting a makeshift temple in honour of Ron Vlaar.