A two-time FIFA World Cup veteran with his native Costa Rica, Christian Bolaños joined Vancouver Whitecaps FC in January 2016 following a transfer from Costa Rica’s Primera División side Deportivo Saprissa. Before joining Whitecaps FC, Bolaños scored 55 goals in over 400 matches in Costa Rica, Denmark, Norway, and Qatar.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
2017: Bolaños started 18 of his 21 regular season appearances, tallying seven assists, which was tied for best on the team. He also played every minute of the 'Caps three matches in the MLS Cup Playoffs, tallying an assist in the Knockout Round win over San Jose Earthquakes. 2016: Bolaños led Whitecaps FC with eight assists in his first season in MLS, in addition to his five goals, tied for third on the team. He made 23 starts in 27 regular season appearances for the 'Caps, including a five-match streak in April to May when he scored a goal or recorded an assist in each outing.
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
2016-17: Bolaños played in both legs of the semifinal series versus Tigreas UANL, making one start.
2016: Bolaños started both of his two appearances in the Canadian Championship
2016: Bolaños recorded an assist as a substitute in their 2-2 international friendly draw versus Crystal Palace FC in July.
A product of Saprissa’s youth system, Bolaños began his professional career during the 2001-02 season with Costa Rica’s most successful club. Over the next six seasons with the Monstruo Morado, Bolaños won three Costa Rican league titles (2003-04, 2005-06, 2006-07), the 2003 Copa Interclubes UNCAF, and the 2005 CONCACAF Champions Cup. In the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup, Bolaños was named the Bronze Ball recipient following Saprissa’s third place finish in the international competition. Following a short stint with C.S. Cartaginés, Bolaños returned to Saprissa in 2015 and scored five goals in 13 appearances, helping them capture the Campeonato de Invierno.
Bolaños moved to Europe in July 2007, joining Denmark's Superliga side Odense Boldklub for two seasons, followed by two seasons with Norway's Tippeligaen club IK Start, and four seasons with Denmark's F.C. Copenhagen. During Bolaños' time in Denmark's capital, F.C. Copenhagen won the Danish Superliga in 2010-11 and 2011-12 and the Danish Cup in 2011-12. As a member of the Lions, Bolaños made 141 appearances, scored 18 goals, and added 24 assists, which includes 22 UEFA Champions League starts (three goals and three assists) and 10 UEFA Europa League appearances.
Bolaños spent part of the 2014-15 season with Al-Gharafa of the Qatar Stars League, scoring four goals in 11 appearances.
Internationally, the native of San José, Costa Rica has earned over 75 caps for his native country, including appearances in the 2006 and 2014 FIFA World Cup. During the 2014 tournament, Bolaños appeared in all five matches, including four starts, as Costa Rica advanced to the quarterfinal before falling to the Netherlands in a shootout. Bolaños converted his attempt in the Ticos defeat. He also represented Costa Rica in CONCACAF Gold Cups and the 2001 FIFA U-17 World Cup. In 2016, Bolaños earned a call-up to join the Costa Rican national team at the Copa América alongside Whitecaps FC teammate Kendall Waston. Bolaños scored for Costa Rica in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup versus Honduras and the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers versus Guyana. He added four more goals in 2016 in the 2018 World Cup Qualifiers - a brace versus Panama, and a goal and an assist each versus Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica.
Bolaños’ older brother, Jonathan, is a retired striker who played in North America with Chicago Fire in MLS and with Seattle Sounders and Rochester Rhinos in the USL First Division. Jonathan, a member of the 2000 Costa Rican Olympic team, also played with his brother Christian at Saprissa… Bolaños and Whitecaps FC defenders Kendall Waston and Jordan Smith are all alumni of Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa and members of the Costa Rican national team… Bolaños also played against Whitecaps FC goalkeeper David Ousted three times in the Danish Superliga… Teams Bolaños has played against include Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea and Liverpool… Bolaños was invited to join Liverpool on a 10-day trial after playing against the English Premier League side in the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup.