By Paul Giblin ROSTOV-ON-DON Russia (Xinhua)
-- Uruguay coach Oscar Washington
Tavarez isn’t worried about the form of Luis Suarez as the
striker prepares to reach a personal milestone when his side
face Saudi Arabia in Rostov-On-Don on Wednesday night.
The FC Barcelona
forward will make his 100th appearance for his
country on Wednesday and Tavarez insisted he still had faith in
him despite a poor performance in the 1-0 win over Egypt on
“Reaching 100 games
for your country is a very important number of games for an
international player,” said Tavarez; “and in most of those
games, Suarez has been vital for us, scoring important goals and
“We all know he
wasn’t great against Egypt, but he hasn’t lost his potential at
all,” he insisted, adding that one of the things that makes
football special is that it is unpredictable.
“Football is a
question about people; footballers are not machines you can
program and you need to have understanding and support for the
players to give them what they need to play in the next game.”
A win against a
Saudi side who lost their opening game 5-0 to Russia, would
almost certainly book Uruguay’s place in the last 16 of the
competition (certain if Egypt fail to beat Russia), but Tavarez
warned that after a first round of matches where Uruguay was the
only South American side to win their game, nothing can be taken
“The debut was tough
for everyone; not just Uruguay and we have seen a lot of
equality in the games,” he explained.
Russia-Saudi game was the one with the biggest difference, but I
am not expecting a rival what will roll out the carpet for us,
but against a side who want to turn their defeat around.”
“The Saudis are fast
and talented and almost drew against Germany in a preparation
game, we will try and nullify their strong points and exploit
their weaknesses, but it will be a tough game, like all the
games we have seen so far in the World Cup.”
“You have to be
prepared for anything that can happen, we have seen anything can
happen in the first round of games and everyone here has
something to show,” said Tavarez.
Muslera proud to make World Cup history
ROSTOV-ON-DON Russia (Xinhua) --
Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera will make his
99th appearance for his country when they face Saudi
Arabia in the World Cup on Wednesday, but speaking to the press
on the eve of that game, he had another number on his mind...and
it wasn’t ‘100’.
When he starts
against the Saudis in Rostov-on-Don, Muslera will equal the
Uruguayan record of 13 games played in World Cup finals of
legendary former Uruguay goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, who
played for his country in the 1966, 1970 and 1974 tournaments.
“I am happy and
proud, it is a huge reason to be proud, that my name is among
the record books of Uruguayan football and it will be a big
moment for my family,” said Muslera speaking to the press o
Arabia lost their opening gam 5-0 to Russia, Muslera warned that
would make Wednesday’s rivals more dangerous.
“The Saudis are
going to give everything; they are a good side despite their
defeat in the first game and the result was harsh on them. They
are going to give everything and we can’t keep anything back
against them, because If we win it will almost certainly see us
into the next round,” said the goalkeeper, who also had words of
thanks for Uruguay’s central defensive pairing of Jose Gimenez
and Diego Godin, who play their club football with Atletico
with great talent and it helps having them in front of me,
because they have a lot of experience and it helps keep you calm
that they are there,” he said.
Pizzi looking for improvements
as Saudi Arabia prepare for vital Uruguay game
ROSTOV-ON-DON Russia (Xinhua) --
Saudi Arabia coach Juan Antonio Pizzi
promised his players would do everything possible to put the 5-0
defeat his side suffered against Russia in their opening World
Cup game behind them when they face Uruguay on Wednesday.
Defeat to Uruguay
would sent the Saudis home from the World Cup, but speaking in
his pre-game press conference, Pizzi stressed the importance of
his side giving a different image on the pitch.
“I have confidence
that my players are going to play a great game and will try and
“We have other
priorities as well: we need to recover our capacity to compete
... it is the only way to play football and that is the first
thing we will focus on tomorrow,” he said.
“We have an
opportunity to forget a performance and result which weren’t
what we were aiming for,” continued the coach.
Pizzi was unwilling
to comment on criticism of the Saudi team from the Director of
the Saudi General Sports Authority, Turki al-Sheikh, who accused
the players of “giving just 5 percent.”
“I am not going to
discuss what others have said, but we have looked at ourselves
and we have the capacity to improve,” he explained.
He was asked if the
agreement which saw three key Saudi players, Salem Al-Darsawi,
Yahya Al Shehri and Fahed Al-Muwallad spend five months in
Spain, where they played less than 100 minutes between them had
seen them lose match fitness. Pizzi insisted the accord had been
“positive” as they had learned “tactically and other issues”
from the experience.
“We think it is a
good route for the Saudi league have taken to promote the
experience for Saudi players and I hope they continue doing so,
because I think it will be reflected in the performance of the
players and the national team,” he commented.
Finally Pizzi said
the fire in the engine of the plane which took his side to
Rostov-On-Don would not have a negative effect.
“The images speak
for themselves, but I don’t think they will affect our
performance on Wednesday,” he concluded.