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God comes first for Campbell as Costa Rica reach World Cup quarter-finals

Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell has been one of the emerging talents making their presence felt at the 2014 World Cup – and he's been very forthcoming about his own Christian faith …

Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell has been one of the emerging talents making their presence felt at the 2014 World Cup – and he's been very forthcoming about his own Christian faith …

As before every game, before Sunday's last 16 game against Greece, Joel recited words from Psalm 27 to himself: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"

The words give him strength, and remind him first of his faith in God, and second of his family back in Costa Rica: mother Roxana, father Humberto and his siblings Nekisha, Humberto and Katherine.

The 22-year-old has been a standout performer in Brazil, scoring one and setting up another in the 3-1 win over Uruguay in the group stages, and scoring one of Costa Rica's penalties in the 5-3 shootout win over Greece after the score was locked at 1-1 after extra time.

The speedy young striker signed a five-year deal with Arsenal back in 2011 but was unable to get a work permit allowing him to play in England, so has been out on loan to FC Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiacos in the last three years.

He scored for the Greek side with a 25-yarder against Manchester United in the Champions League last 16 early this year, and was in the side that played at Old Trafford in March.

With a work permit now safely secured, Arsenal fans should now be seeing him in action closer to home, especially now manager Arsene Wenger has said he wants him at pre-season training once Costa Rica's World Cup adventure ends.

Photos: Joel Campbell (above left) pictured during Costa Rica's 3-1 win over Uruguay (Wikimedia Commons - Danilo Borges/Portal da Copa)

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