Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto had identified Italy's Andrea Pirlo as the biggest threat to his side's FIFA World Cup hopes.
The two Group D teams will go head-to-head in Recife on Friday, with the winner guaranteed a spot in the round of 16 at the showpiece event.
Deputising as Italy captain in the absence of injured goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Pirlo was at his brilliant best in the 2-1 win against England - teeing up Claudio Marchisio for the opener, while he fired a late free-kick into the crossbar.
And Pinto said stopping the 38-year-old midfielder, who had 108 passes in Italy's first game, will be key to achieving another upset after Costa Rica's triumph 3-1 win over Uruguay.
"If Pirlo is ok, he is going to be a problem because of his positioning and his skills with the free kicks.
"Pirlo is the most important Italian player along with (Antonio) Candreva. (Daniele) De Rossi would be the third. We have analysed them.
"I have been following him (Pirlo) since Germany 2006 where I think he was the best player in this World Cup. He is the most intelligent player they have.
"We have seen many of his characteristics, so we have to know how to stop him because he is the brain of Italy."
Pinto also hit back at Chelsea manager and Yahoo Sports columnist Jose Mourinho, who believes Costa Rica have already produced a surprise result and are "unlikely to do it a second time".
"I am surprised by (Jose) Mourinho's words. So when he plays Sunday-Wednesday games he can't repeat good results? No way.
"We expect to do our best. We do know we have a tough rival in front of us, but we are confident we can do it again."
Pinto added: "Our first game with Uruguay wasn't an easy one, but we managed to overcome them. Therefore, we are happy today.
"In terms of football, we want to repeat the things we did against Uruguay. However we know we are facing a difficult opponent, very tactical, very competitive.
"We know we have to pay a lot of attention to them. At the moment I am in a kind of game with (Cesare) Prandelli, if he guesses my line up or if I manage to guess his, so depending on that there are some key decisions."
|16||D. De Rossi|
|Coach: C. Prandelli|
for T. Motta 46'
for A. Candreva 57'
for C. Marchisio 69'
|Ibrahimovic arrival makes Manchester the ´capital of football´ - Vieira|
|Del Bosque: I sent a message to the whole squad, except Casillas|
|USA to play first friendly against Cuba since 1947|
|Poland boss praises Lewandowski after Euro 2016 exit|
|Fonte: United will regret missing out on Sanches|
|Santos: Portugal should have had a penalty|
|Ranieri: English football is not in crisis|
|Ronaldo dreaming of Euro 2016 glory|
|Nawalka: Poland should be proud of Euro 2016 exploits|
|Santos: Goalless Ronaldo was immense for Portugal|
|No player out of reach for Chinese Super League - chief|
|Fearless Sanches had no nerves in dramatic shootout|
|Portugal through despite Ronaldo off-night|
|´Very happy´ Neymar drops contract hint|
|Poland 1 Portugal 1 (aet, 3-5 pens): Heartbreak for Blaszczykowski as Santos´ men sneak into the sem|
|Del Bosque to resign from Spain role|
|Giggs can be a manager in his own right, insists Round|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Wails for Bale, a grumpy water carrier and the inevitable return of Will Grigg|
|Manchester United agree Galatasaray friendly|
|Hazard must bloom into bona-fide superstar as Eden project comes full circle|
|Hazard excited by ´world class´ Ibrahimovic in the Premier League|
|Hazard determined to make his mark on Lille return|
|Special One and Zlatan: United´s match made in heaven or gamble from hell?|
|Vertonghen to miss rest of Euro 2016 due to torn ankle ligaments|
|Conte has helped me a lot, admits grateful De Sciglio|
|Juve pay tribute to departing Caceres|
|Williams banking on ´band of brothers´ to stop Hazard|
|No lack of desire with England - Lampard|
|Germany v Italy: Kroos calls on Khedira knowledge for Azzurri test|
|Coleman welcomes pressure of ´biggest game since 1958´|
|Ibrahimovic claims he will join Manchester United|
|Sevilla receive ´big offer´ for Krychowiak|
|Bartra seeks to justify Dortmund´s trust|
|Montella vows to bring the good times back to AC Milan|
|Bournemouth bring in striker Mousset|
|Barca confirm Umtiti fee agreed|
|Puel takes charge at Southampton|
|Hulk completes €55.8m Shanghai SIPG switch|
|Bruce focused on Hull and pursuing transfer targets|
|Sinclair agrees Watford move|
|Janssen wants AZ to accept Spurs offer|
|Bartomeu claims five-year Neymar deal imminent|
|Reluctant father figure Evra defends Pogba|
|Boateng declares himself fit to face Italy|
|73 goals, 44 assists: The stats that show why Man Utd want Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan|
|Conte has made Italy proud again – Vieri|
|Evra pledges to respect Iceland after England shock|
|Vrba leaves Czech Republic for Anzhi|
|Bernstein backs Allardyce for England job|
|Rodgers rejects England talk|
|Klose lauds ´unbelievable´ Italy|
|Muller confident Italy´s defence can be breached|
|´Lineker does not know what he is talking about´ - Raiola defends Pogba|
|Morrison opts to stay with West Brom|
|Kempes expects Messi to return to international football|
|´Leave Messi alone!´ - Maradona|
|Evra suffers training injury|
|Iceland´s Viking chant terrified England - Shilton|
|Ballack doubts Italy can repeat Spain performance|
|Caparros hoping Del Bosque continues as Spain coach|
|Falcao targeting Ligue 1 top scorer award|
|Maradona: England continue to be over-hyped|
|Santos: You talk about Ronaldo because he is great|
|James Rodriguez is an ´average player´ - Stoichkov|
|Mooy moves from Melbourne to Manchester City|
|Copa America champions Chile set to face Euro 2016 winner|
|Guardiola ´relaxed´ ahead of renewing Mourinho rivalry|
|Simeone on post-Champions League final comments: I spoke heatedly|
|Skrtel pins blame on friend after Klopp ´d***´ slur|
|Euro 2016 Diary: Medals for Irish fans and Blaszczykowski inspires Wimbledon triumph|
|Bale is slightly better than Hazard, admits Lukaku|
|Argentina make Simeone approach, jokes Atleti president|
|Mamelodi Sundowns 2 Enyimba 1: Arendse nets winner in Group B clash|
|Wilmots confirms Batshuayi medical ahead of expected Chelsea switch|
|Santos insists no favourite in Portugal-Poland tie despite Ronaldo presence|
|Celtic is the best place for me to be, insists Dembele|
|Lagerback: I don´t think I will take a job like England|
|Umtiti has ´exclusive agreement´ to join Barcelona|
|Milik putting Ronaldo worship to one side for 90 minutes|
|Only losers make excuses, insists Florenzi|
|Nawalka: We must not focus solely on Ronaldo|
|Hamsik: Bayern offer reports are nonsense|
|Injured De Rossi a major doubt to face Germany|
|Wales will not be a stepping stone for Belgium - Bale|
|Lyon add Nkoulou as Barcelona close in on Umtiti|
|Neymar, Rafinha and Douglas Costa named in Brazil´s Olympics squad|
|Goalless Lewandowski should look to Ronaldo for inspiration|
|Mane has cost Liverpool far too much - Thompson|
|Bilic not interested in England job, says Gold|
|Hummels hopes Gomez can break through impressive Italy defence|
|Gerrard: England gripped by a ´culture of fear´|
|Bournemouth sign Chelsea´s Ake on season-long loan|
|Iceland emulating Leicester City would delight Hallgrimsson|
|Chelsea could still sign Pato permanently, says agent|
|Wales v Belgium: Wilmots will not man-mark Bale in quarter-final clash|
|Genoa seal Ocampos capture|
|Fuchs retires from Austria duty|
|Bundesliga fixtures: Bayern begin title defence against Werder Bremen|
|Bordeaux complete Toulalan signing|
|Suarez confident Messi will return for Argentina|
|´England players did not know what to do´ - Lineker critical of Hodgson|
|Dybala turned down ´€80m Barcelona move´|
|Emery a big loss for Sevilla, says Baptista|
|Valencia: ICC derby more than a friendly|
|Defoe: Allardyce ready for England|
|Wales defend celebrations after England´s Euro 2016 elimination|
|Rooney: Next England manager doesn´t have to be English|
|Mascherano set for Barca stay|
|Carragher suggests Klinsmann as England boss, dismisses Shearer|
|Glik confirms Monaco move|
|Australia to face Japan in Melbourne|
|Galliani: Montella gives Milan a fresh start|
|We must take care of Messi - Argentina president|
|England players ´babies´ and soft - Carragher|
|Higuain unlikely to renew Napoli contract - agent|
|Hart: Tough job for next England boss|
|Nani to join Valencia, confirms Fener president|
|Glenn: Man, woman or caretaker for England|
|Skrtel´s Fenerbahce move ´almost done´|
|Al Ahly 1 ASEC Mimosas 2: Jol´s men beaten again|