Costa Rica hires ex-America, Leon boss Gustavo Matosas

Costa Rica has hired former Club America and Leon coach Gustavo Matosas as the squad's new manager, the country's federation announced on Tuesday.

The ex-Uruguay international takes over for Oscar Ramirez, whose contract was not renewed following Costa Rica's exit from the World Cup in Russia.

Matosas, 51, won two Liga MX titles with Leon and guided America to a 2014-2015 CONCACAF Champions League title. He has also coached clubs in Uruguay, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Paraguay, and Argentina.

The job with Los Ticos will be his first job as head of a national squad.

"It is a great honor for me to represent a country like Costa Rica, it is a great challenge, a marvelous one. This excites as if it were my own country," Matosas said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Matosas will officially take over in 2019, but confirmed he would attend Costa Rica's upcoming friendlies against Mexico and Colombia. Ronald Gonzalez will remain the interim for those matches, as well as November friendlies against Peru and Chile.

Costa Rica is coming off its second straight World Cup appearance, where it finished at the bottom of its group in Russia. The squad was one of the biggest surprises in 2014, making it to the quarterfinals in Brazil after winning the "Group of Death" that featured Italy, Uruguay, and England.