Meet the World Cup darkhorse no one wants to face
WATCH: Team preview of Uruguay
Diego Forlan, a forward for Uruguay’s national squad, recorded a television commercial recently wearing a T-shirt that read: “We’re not the favourites, nor will we be a surprise. We are the team that no one wants to draw.”
That sums up Uruguay, the small South American country that finished fourth at the 2010 World Cup.
Uruguay has won the World Cup twice – in 1930 and 1950 – and is always a dangerous rival with a tough-nosed style of play and two of the world’s top forwards in Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
“We’ll try to do what we did in South Africa,” Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez said. “We want to be a difficult team to play, nothing less. If we achieve this, it will take us close to our objective.”
READ MORE: Complete World Cup coverage
The problem for Uruguay is Group D, where it’s matched with England, Italy and Costa Rica. Finishing in the top two and getting out of the group would be an accomplishment.
“We are realists,” Suarez said. “Today’s football is tough, very difficult. We have go with a low profile, the way we did in South Africa, to try to achieve our goal.”
The other problem is Suarez himself, who had keyhole surgery on his left knee on May 22. Team doctors say he has a chance to play, but no one may know until minutes before the opening match.
Uruguay opens on June 14 against Costa Rica in the northeastern city of Fortaleza. The team faces England in Sao Paulo on June 19, and closes with Italy in Natal on June 24.
Forlan, who was named the best player at the 2010 World Cup, joined Japanese club Cerezo Osaka in February. He will likely be a substitute this time, but offers lots of experience from playing days in Italy, Spain and Brazil.
He is hoping Japan may even boost his skills.
— Files from Associated Press
© Shaw Media, 2014