Both 35 years old, the two Uruguayan strikers are preparing to play their last World Cup. But not necessarily by being associated from the start against South Korea (2:00 p.m.).
At 35, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani embody the twilight of the Uruguayan golden generation but aspire to wear the Celeste one last time in the World Cup in Qatar, where Uruguay enters in contention Thursday against South Korea (2:00 p.m.). The attacking duo, born 21 days apart in the northern department of Salto, are preparing to pass the torch to the younger generation, carried in particular by Federico Valverde (Real Madrid), Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham), and the Liverpool striker Darwin Nunez… who could well push one of the two veterans to the bench against South Korea. According to the Uruguayan press, Valencia CF player Edinson Cavani should start this first match as a substitute.
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The “Matador” wants more
Landed in Valencia this summer from Manchester United, the “Matador“has carried his new club at arm’s length since the start of the season. Bolstered by Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso, Cavani has netted four goals and one assist in seven matches. But a few weeks before the World Cup, the former Paris SG striker was worried about several injuries: after missing the first three matches of the season, the striker suffered a scare in his right ankle against the FC Barcelona on October 29, causing concern among Celeste supporters. The international with 58 goals in 133 caps had already missed the last two games with his team through injury at the end of September, against Iran (1-0 defeat) and Canada (2-0 success). But in June, with the captain’s armband around his biceps, he carried his selection to two overwhelming friendly successes with two goals against Mexico (3-0) and two others against Panama (5-0).
According to ESPN sports channel journalist Diego Munoz, Cavani and Suarez form “the best pair of attackers in the history of the Celeste“. “They put aside their egos, always favored the team and they brought each other. Indispensable players from a generation who gave a lot to the selection and who gave dreams to the population“, adds the journalist to AFP. “The slightest decision they have made in recent months, they have done it with the Celeste in mind. This should make us proud, us, the technical staff, but also the whole country“said Uruguay coach Diego Alonso on Wednesday at a press conference. A perfect illustration of this symbiosis, the magnificent goal scored by Cavani against Portugal after a one-two from 40m with Suarez, in the round of 16 of the 2018 World Cup (2-1).
The last bullet of the “Pistolero”
For the “gunslingerLuis Suarez, this World Cup is also like a last dance. The top scorer in the history of Uruguay (68 goals in 134 caps, ahead of Cavani’s 58 goals in 133 games), returned to his favorite club Nacional Montevideo this summer after two years at Atlético Madrid, s moved away from the European scene to prepare for this World Cup in a more serene way, far from the spotlight. “We have a mix of experienced and quality players: I think Uruguay can make a very big World Cup“, assured the ex-star striker of Barcelona. The good atmosphere that reigns at La Celeste training, punctuated by the emblematic physical trainer of Atlético Madrid Oscar “El ProfeOrtega seems to confirm this ambition. With the barely concealed objective of doing better than at the 2010 World Cup, where Suarez and Cavani had taken Uruguay to the semi-finals (3-2 defeat against the Netherlands).