Deportivo Saprissa

Deportivo Saprissa is a Costa Rican sports club, mostly known for its football team. The club is based in San Juan de Tibás, San José, and play their home games at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá. The team's signature colours are purple (burgundy) and white. It is the main team representing the capital, but with the distinction of being massively followed throughout the whole country and overseas. The club was founded in 1935 and has competed in the Costa Rican first division since 1949. The name of the team comes from one of the club's main founders, Ricardo Saprissa. One of the most popular nicknames for the team El Monstruo Morado (The Purple Monster) can be traced back to 1987, when the Costa Rican newspaper Diario Extra gave the team the nickname during a derby, because of the club's enormous following. A reporter commented that the sea of fans in the stands at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá in Tibás wearing purple, and the tremendous noise they were generating, made him feel like he was "in the presence of a thousand headed monster". Saprissa immediately adopted the nickname El Monstruo Morado. It remains the most lauded football team in the whole region.

Deportivo saprissa logo.png
Full nameDeportivo Saprissa, SAD
Nickname(s)Los Morados (The Purple Ones)
El Monstruo (The Monsters)
La S (The S)
El Glorioso (The Glorious)
El Sapri (The Sapri)
Rey de Copas (King of Cups)
Founded16 July 1935; 86 years ago
GroundEstadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá
OwnerHorizonte Morado
ChairmanJuan Carlos Rojas Callán
ManagerÁngel Luis Catalina
CoachJeaustin Campos
LeagueLiga FPD
2021–22 AperturaFinalist
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Saprissa won 36 Primera División de Costa Rica championships, including six consecutive national titles in the 70s. It stands as one of the more successful teams in the CONCACAF region as well, having won the CONCACAF Champions' Cup three times – in 1993, 1995, and 2005. Saprissa has also won five Central American crowns in 1972, 1973, 1978, 1998, and 2003.

For the period 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2008 the club was ranked the 106th best team in the world by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, an organization recognized by FIFA.[1]

Saprissa has regularly appeared in the CONCACAF Champions Cup finals in recent decades, with three first-place finishes and four runners-up finishes. One of the club's most notable moments came in 2005 when Saprissa became the second club in CONCACAF to finish third in the FIFA Club World Cup together with the Mexican club Necaxa who accomplished it in 2000 and were joined by two more Mexican clubs, in 2012 by C.F. Monterrey and in 2017 by C.F Pachuca.

The club was chosen by the IFFHS as the CONCACAF team of the 20th Century.[2] This event gave Saprissa worldwide recognition. Their main partner is a Costa Rican Investment Consortium named Horizonte Morado (Purple Horizon), composed mainly of Juan Carlos Rojas Callán, Edgar Zurcher, and Televisora de Costa Rica.


Deportivo Saprissa was founded on July 16, 1935, by Roberto Fernández who named his team after the man who sponsored their uniform, Don Ricardo Saprissa Aymá. The club entered the Costa Rican Third Division as Saprissa F.C. They were promoted to the Primera División de Costa Rica, making their debut in the top flight on 21 August 1949. That year Saprissa actually won the first final match against Gimnástica Española with 0–3 score, then lost the away game by 6–2 to be defeated again 2–1 in a third game. They were accepted in 1st category as a favor granted by the administrative entity of that time. One of the most notable achievement of their early years, was to win the third and second division titles undefeated. The club has remained in the Costa Rican top flight ever since.

Recent eventsEdit

In 2003, the majority of the club's stock was bought by Mexican entrepreneur Jorge Vergara, the owner of Mexican football club Club Deportivo Guadalajara[3] and soon after the operator of Major League Soccer club Club Deportivo Chivas USA in the United States.

Saprissa won the 2005 CONCACAF Champions Cup, beating Mexican club UNAM in the final over two legs, in May 2005. As CONCACAF club champions they qualified for the 2005 FIFA Club World Championship, held in Japan in December 2005. They beat Australian club Sydney FC in the quarter-finals thanks to a goal by Christian Bolaños. In the semi-finals they were beaten 3–0 by English club Liverpool, who were the Champions League holders that year, making it the strongest team in Europe. In the third place match they beat Al Ittihad of Saudi Arabia 3–2. Álvaro Saborío scored two goals, and Rónald Gómez scored an astonishing free-kick final goal in the 89th minute to seal the win. They finished the competition in third place behind São Paulo of Brazil and Liverpool. Saborío was joint top scorer, and Bolaños was awarded the Bronze Ball by FIFA as third best player of the championship out of 5 teams.

Team coloursEdit

Even though the very first colours were red and white, the team is known by their purple-burgundy colour. Red and white were utilised very briefly, and Ricardo Saprissa's influence from the Polo Club of Barcelona had the team try red and blue instead, even though this is the origin of the colour used throughout all of its history. When the new kit for 1937 (red and blue) was being manufactured, some of the threads got mixed evenly along the sides of the jerseys, producing a type of purple, resembling a burgundy/maroon colour. This new colour went down well with everyone involved, it reflected class and originality, and it was selected as the team's official colour. It was decided that the team's shield would appear on the chest of the uniform, with a notable bold white letter "S".

Saprissa utilizes a purple/burgundy jersey with white and grey details, and white shorts with burgundy and grey details for home games. For away games, a white jersey with burgundy and grey details is used, and white shorts with burgundy and grey details.

Kit historyEdit

Jersey SuppliersEdit

Manufacturer Period Sponsor Notes
1978–1979   Olympo
1980–1981   National
  Desport 1982–1985   Bayer
1986–1990   Coca-Cola
  Reebok 1990–1991
  Garcis 1992–1993
  Tropper 1993–1994
  Lanzera 1994
  Umbro 1995
  Medfsport 1995
1996   Colgate
  Reebok 1996–1997
1997–1998  LG
  Tropper 1998
  Adidas 1998–1999
  Atletica 2000–2003
  Reebok 2004–2006
2006–2011   Bimbo
  Joma 2012–2013   Bimbo

  Papa John's

2014   Bimbo


  Kappa 2015–2016
2017–2018   Bimbo


2018–2019   Kölbi


2019   Kölbi

  Tío Pelón

2020–2021   Kölbi

  BAC Credomatic

2021–Present   BAC Credomatic



Saprissa Stadium packed before a Clasico
Fans of La Ultra Morada in La Cueva

Saprissa plays home games at the Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá named after Ricardo Saprissa. They originally played at the Costa Rica National Stadium, which they rented and shared.

A new site for a stadium was bought in 1965 and on 27 August 1972 after six years of construction and upgrades, Estadio Ricardo Saprissa was officially opened. The first match was between Deportivo Saprissa and Comunicaciones of Guatemala. The match ended in a 1–1 draw with Peter Sandoval of Comunicaciones scoring the first goal at the new stadium.

The stadium is called Estadio Ricardo Saprissa Aymá, named after the founder of the club. There is a bust of Don Ricardo in one of the corners of the stadium. The stadium is also nicknamed La Cueva del Monstruo (The Monster's Cave/Lair) or La Cueva (The Lair), after the nickname of the club, El Monstruo Morado ("The Purple Monster"). It has a seating capacity of 24,000 and is overlooked by local mountains and downtown San Jose.

The stadium has great fame internationally, especially with all the national teams that play against Costa Rica.


La Ultra Morada (The Purple Ultra) is the club's most radical supporters group, even though it is not recognized as an official or formal part of the club. This group is always set on the south side of the stadium. La Ultra Morada is categorized as an "ultras group" or "ultras movement", being similar to what is more commonly known to outsiders as "hooligans"; even though members of La Ultra Morada, or simply La Ultra, emphasize their support for the club by creating a passionate atmosphere during matches. The group was the first Ultras group in Costa Rica, formed in 1995 when then-Saprissa president Enrique Artiñano brought fans from the Chilean football club Universidad Católica to help build a similar ultras group to their Los Cruzados for Saprissa. In the mid-to-late 1990s the Ultras began to develop the image of being football hooligans when violence began to break out with opposition fans during games. Due to the negative atmosphere and press coverage, Saprissa officials stepped in to restore order to a group that they had help create. The group is sub-divided in smaller groups called peñas. They maintain the style of a classic Ultras group, with chants, choreos[clarification needed], pyro shows (flares and gunpowder), abundant flags, giant banners, and the constant beat of an oversized bass drum.

There are, however, several different other supporter group that are legally recognized by the club. These groups occupy different zones in the stadium, and they are mainly groups that get organized with transportation, original merchandise, and massive displays for the team during a game (confetti, balloons, banners, flares, etc.)


The official mascot of the team is a cartoonish purple dragon, which was based on the Dragon Elliot from Pete's Dragon,[4] and similar to one from Dragon Tales[clarification needed] and many other dragons from children's shows. Because of this, many of the fans call the mascot Un monstruo amigable which means "a friendly monster". The mascot was meant to appeal to children in general, but it ended up being loved by the entirety of the fans. This caused it to be present in all kinds of paraphernalia and merchandise. It is the most recognizable and appreciated mascot in all the region. However, in early 2010, a new mascot was introduced. The mascot was designed in Mexico and many club supporters felt that it was a campy, superhero-like purple monster. As a result, the new mascot was highly rejected by the fans, claiming that "No queremos un dinosaurio super héroe, queremos al espíritu del equipo" (We don't want a super hero dinosaur, we want the original spirit of the team). The new mascot was replaced immediately after the strong rejection, and the team now has a new mascot that resembles the original. The new costume was manufactured by Fernando Thiel, a widely recognized Argentina-born puppeteer who lives in Costa Rica.



1952, 1953, 1957, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1993–94, 1994–95, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2003–04, 2005–06, 2006–07, Invierno 2007, Verano 2008, Invierno 2008, 2010 Verano, 2014 Verano, 2014 Invierno, 2015 Invierno, 2016 Invierno, 2018 Clausura, 2020 Clausura, 2021 Clausura
  • Costa Rican Short Championships: 8
1997-98 Clausura, 1998–99 Apertura, 1998–99 Clausura, 2003–04 Apertura, 2005–06 Apertura, 2005–06 Clausura, 2006–07 Apertura, 2006–07 Clausura
  • Costa Rican Cup: 6
1950, 1960, 1963, 1970, 1972, 2013
  • Costa Rican Super Cup: 3
1963, 1976, 2021


Winners (3): 1993, 1995, 2005
Runners-up (2): 2004, 2008
Winners (1): 2019
Runners-up (1): 2020
Winners (5): 1972, 1973, 1978, 1998, 2003
Runners-up (7): 1971, 1974, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2007
Runners-up (2): 1993, 1995
  • CONCACAF Central American Champions: 1 appearance
Winners (1): 1970
  • US Camel Cup: 1 appearance
Winners (1): 1985
Third place (1): 2005
  • CONCACAF League Fair Play:
Winners (1): 2019

Performance in CONCACAF competitionsEdit

Records and statisticsEdit

Season Division Pts Pos Clausura championship Competition Result Competition Result
League CONCACAF Competitions Other
2004–05 Premier League 18 29 4th QF SF
2005–06 Premier League 13 42 1st W GS UNCAF cup R32

Player recordsEdit


Current squadEdit

As of 05 February, 2022

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   CRC Kevin Chamorro
2 MF   CRC Christian Bolaños
4 DF   CRC Kendall Waston
5 DF   CRC Kevin Espinoza
6 MF   CRC Jaylon Hadden
7 FW   CRC Andy Reyes
8 MF   CRC David Guzmán
9 FW   CRC Francisco Rodríguez
10 MF   CRC Marvin Angulo
11 FW   PAN Víctor Medina
12 DF   CRC Ricardo Blanco
13 GK   CRC Aarón Cruz
14 FW   CRC Ariel Rodríguez
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 FW   CRC Carlos Villegas
18 FW   HON Darixon Vuelto
19 DF   CRC Ryan Bolaños
20 MF   ARG Mariano Torres
21 MF   CRC Julen Cordero
24 FW   CRC Orlando Sinclair
28 DF   CRC Gerald Taylor
30 MF   CRC Ulises Segura
34 DF   CRC Walter Cortés
38 DF   CRC Sergio Céspedes
39 DF   CRC Jordy Evans
52 DF   TRI Aubrey David
80 FW   CRC Jimmy Marín

Non-playing staffEdit

Name Role
  Iñaki Alonso Head Coach
  Marco Herrera Assistant Coach
  Pierluigi Morera Head Athletic Trainer
  Róger Mora Goalkeeping coach
  Esteban Campos Team Doctor
  José Francisco Porras
  Juan Gabriel Rodríguez

List of coachesEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The last IFFHS World Club ranking of 16 January 2018 has the club in 250th place. "Club World Ranking Top 350 (1 September 2007 – 31 August 2008)". International Federation of Football History & Statistics. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  2. ^ "Central and North America's club of the Century". IFFHS official website. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  3. ^ Jorge Vergara Rey Midas sin calcetines – Nación (in Spanish)
  4. ^ "¿Por qué la mascota de Saprissa es un dragón?". Fútbol Centroamérica (in European Spanish). Retrieved 13 April 2022.
  5. ^ Coronado y Cordero en los records morados Archived 14 July 2014 at the Wayback Machine – UNAFUT(in Spanish)
  6. ^ Víctor Cordero en la historia del Saprissa – UNAFUT

External linksEdit