Striker Joel Campbell, one of the main figures in Costa Rican soccer in the last decade, returns to his country to play next season with Alajuelense.
What was an open secret in the Costa Rican soccer environment for the past few weeks was announced this Thursday when Alajuelense posted a video of Campbell wearing the team's uniform, added to some photographs of the player dressed in the club's shirt as a child.
" ð“¾ð“® ð“ð“® ð“·ð“²ñð“¸ ð“¬ð“¸ð“¶ð“®ð“·ð“¬é" – ð“™ð“¸ð“®ð“µ ð“’ð“ªð“¶ð“¹ð“«ð“®ð“µð“µ— Official Alajuelense (@ldacr) June 8, 2023
Welcome LION! ðŸ¦ðŸ–¤â¤ï¸ pic.twitter.com/0S7LEpnlIR
Alajuelense will present Campbell this Thursday night at a private event for members and will host a press conference on Friday.
Campbell was in the minor leagues of Alajuelense as a child but then moved to rival rivals Saprissa, where he trained and from where he joined England's Arsenal as a 19-year-old.
The striker arrived in Costa Rica this week to join the team training for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and told reporters that he wanted to return to his country after spending more than a decade in soccer international.
Campbell, 30, a World Cup winner in Brazil 2014, Russia 2018, and Qatar 2022, played for Saprissa and Puntarenas in the Costa Rican league as a teenager but did not score a goal.
At the age of 19, Saprissa sold him to the English Arsenal in 2011, and from then on he developed his career in Europe, playing both in the English team and on loan at Spanish Villarreal and Betis, French Lorient, Greek Olympiakos and Portuguese Sporting Lisbon.
In 2018, Arsenal transferred Campbell to Italian Frosinone, where he spent a season before moving to soccer in Mexico where he played for Monterrey and Leon.
The left-handed striker returns to Costa Rica to help Alajuelense to resume the path of titles since the club has only won 2 of the last 20 local tournaments.
Alajuelense is the second most successful team in Costa Rica with 30 local titles, surpassed by Saprissa which adds up to 38.