Bryan Ruiz, a symbol of confidence for Costa Rica
Marlon Lopez (left) of Nicaragua seek for the ball with Bryan Ruiz in a Group B game of the Concacaf Gold Cup on June 16, 2019 at the National Stadium in San Jose, Costa Rica.

FRISCO, Texas.- On and off the field, Bryan Ruiz is a symbol of confidence in the Costa Rica National Team. The Costa Rican forward played in his fifth Concacaf Gold Cup on Sunday, with an assist to Allan Cruz. At 33 he is a leader on and off the field.

"It's part of being in the national team, you have to demand the best of yourself and whoever is a part of the national team, has to contribute,” said Ruiz in the post-match mixed zone. “I think that even if I am not getting minutes, I can still contribute in the best way possible both on and off the field."

Although Costa Rica won 4-0 against Nicaragua, BRuiz knows the importance of leading and helping younger players who are integrating into the national team.

"I am very happy for them, because it is not easy to start in the national team,” added Ruiz. “They have had criticism and that is not so easy to handle, but we are here to support one another. I am very happy for the Elias [Aguilar] goal; he had a really good game. Allan, who puts a lot of heart out in the field, and that is very important for the younger players. There are other players who are also doing well. They have to have that desire to be starters and to keep growing.”

With a positive result, Ruiz assures to communicate with the team to remind them that the victory is celebrated, but there is still work to be done.

"Wearing the captains’ armband is nice but it's secondary," said Ruiz. "To play again in the stadium, to win again in a very strong way and playing well, that gives me a bigger thrill.”

Even so, Ruiz knows that this is just the beginning. "We still have not qualified, and we have to continue thinking about the next matches."