Photo: Oscar Washington Tabarez
The manager of Uruguay’s national soccer team on Saturday continued to ponder his strategy and lineup for his team’s opening Group B Confederations Cup match against Spain.
“We know that Spain’s team is better than Uruguay’s right now. Their recent titles speak to that, but soccer is the team sport that gives the weak the best chance against the strong,” Oscar Washington Tabarez said.
Uruguayan and Atletico Madrid defenseman Diego Godin, who will be one of the players responsible for containing Spain’s attack on Sunday in Recife’s Arena Timbu, played in that entire game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Spain won the squads’ previous meeting, a 3-1 victory Feb. 6 in a friendly in Qatar, but Tabarez took some positives from the match.
“We lost because we made mistakes that cost us the result, but at times we went toe-to-toe and now we’ll look to do it again,” he said.
Referring to Spain, the reigning World Cup champions and winners of the last two UEFA European Championships, Tabarez said “it’s no secret” that the Iberian nation has “many players at a high level and very similar” in style, alluding to highly skilled offensive players such as Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez and David Silva.
“We must be cognizant of our opponent’s great strengths. We’ll try to contain them and hold them in check while also creating problems for the team of my friend (Vicente) Del Bosque,” Tabarez added.
The Uruguayan manager has decided on eight of his starters for Sunday’s match, including goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, defensemen Maxi Pereira, Diego Lugano, Godin and Martin Caceres and strikers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Defensive midfielder Diego Perez also has his spot in the lineup assured, but it remained unclear what plans Tabarez has for 34-year-old striker and winger Diego Forlan, recipient of the Golden Ball as top player at the 2010 World Cup.
The Confederations Cup is an international soccer tournament held as a prelude to the 2014 World Cup, which also will be hosted by Brazil.