We sat down with 23-year-old soccer star Ronald Matarrita—who’s a defender for the Costa Rica national football team and also plays for New York City FC in Major League Soccer—ahead of the biggest event in footie.
Team: New York City FC
Position: Left Back
Country: Costa Rica
Weight: 154 lbs
What do you eat before training?
Pasta. It’s a huge source of energy.
How do you overcome obstacles?
If you think about competing against yourself, you’ll become a better player and a better person. Come out to the pitch ready to give the best you have to give, every day.
Who motivates you?
My mom and my grandma. It’s because of them that I wake up every day and give 100 percent, on and off the pitch.
What’s the best advice you’ve received?
There was a time when I was feeling a bit down because things weren’t going my way. [NYCFC captain] David Villa told me I am a good player, that I know what I can give on and off the pitch, and that I needed to stay calm and conscious.
If you weren’t a pro soccer player, what would you be doing?
I’d be an architect. That will be my next career