Saprissa and Costa Rica forward Fernanda Barrantes (pictured) is a candidate for a 2017 CONCACAF Award.. (Photo courtesy of Deportivo Saprissa)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – When Saprissa forward Fernanda Barrantes was informed that her name was on the list for the 2017 CONCACAF Awards Female Best XI at the forward position, she wasn’t sure what to believe.
“I was told through a message and the first thing I do is doubt it,” she laughed during an interview with CONCACAF.com. “When I confirmed it, it was very exciting and very satisfying for me personally. Seeing my name next to players like Marta and Alex Morgan, who we know are great and are from countries that are world powers in women’s football, was something very nice.”
The Costa Rica international enjoyed an outstanding 2017, appearing in 22 Costa Rican league games and scoring a team-high 14 goals.
Despite having such impactful on-field performances, she wasn’t expecting international recognition, but is delighted to be considered among CONCACAF’s top players.
“It really is something indescribable,” expressed Barrantes, who played in three games at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup competitor. “It gives you a feeling of immense happiness and tranquility for the job fulfilled in this 2017, both with my club -- to which I’m obligated Sunday through Sunday – and with my national team in the different tournaments and friendlies in which I have been able to participate.
“It also means a great challenge on a personal level and extra motivation to try harder.”
The former Moravia standout credits God, the unconditional support of her family and a comprehensive commitment to excellence as key factors in her success. She believes that the trajectory of Costa Rican women’s football will continue rising.
“Yes, of course, the sport has grown a lot in my country,” Barrantes remarked. “I think that the 2015 Women’s World Cup and our role there contributed a lot. It is exciting to see now how many girls have the opportunity here to train from a young age, correcting small details that are harder to cover afterwards.”
Next year, how does the 28-year-old plan to build on a memorable 2017?
“Well, I still have to make the leap internationally and professionally,” finished Barrantes. “I think that is one of the biggest objectives of a player and I am no exception, continue working hard to get it, God knows. And another item there is qualifying for the next World Cup and our first Olympic Games.”
Like Costa Rica women’s football does continuously, Barrantes keeps raising the bar high for herself.