'Perfectionist' Suarez targeting further World Cup improvement

Dean Simpson
June 30, 2018

It was thanks to his header that Uruguay beat Italy 1-0 in their decisive group game in Brazil to reach the last 16 of the last World Cup and even though they fell to Colombia in the next round, the memory of the goal lives on.

"It's not just in this World Cup that they have not been conceding goals - it has been like that for the whole of 2018". Ronaldo's battle with Atletico Madrid defender Diego Godin promises to be interesting and depending who can keep their cool, could potentially win the match for their team.

Uruguay XI: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Maria Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt, Nahitan Nandez, Matias Vecino, Lucas Torreira, Rodrigo Bentancur, Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani.

But Tabarez, in charge of his fourth World Cup campaign with Uruguay, insists it is pointless to deploy one man to stop Ronaldo.

Uruguay booked their round of 16 berth with a phenomenal run of back to back victories while Portugal stuttered in one game in which Ronaldo failed to score.

Tabarez, who has coached Uruguay since 2006, has never hidden his admiration for his captain. "We will have to work collectively in order to try and contain him or in order to try and limit the effect he can have".

"The important thing is to think about the [round of 16] match, think about the game, get to know your adversaries and then to get well prepared mentally and physically, regardless of it being Uruguay or the hosts", Santos said of his team's progress.

Which TV channels will broadcast the FIFA World Cup 2018 Uruguay vs Portugal Round of 16 match? Meanwhile, three of Portugal's last four goals have come from outside the box.

Football statisticians Gracenote Sports believe Portugal have a 6% chance of winning the World Cup, while Uruguay's chances are rated at 5%.

Ronaldo began the tournament in spectacular fashion, with his stunning free kick completing a hat trick and snatching a 3-3 draw against Spain at Fisht Stadium.

If he plays, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo (37) will equal Bastian Schweinsteiger (38) as the player with the most appearances at World Cups + European Championships. The crunch knockout stage could be the last hurrah for Portugal's golden generation while for Uruguay, this World Cup can be the reward of a decade-long tutelage. "On a personal level, I am very much a perfectionist. That doesn't cross our minds, but if it's boring and we win.", said Uruguay's veteran coach Oscar Washington Tabarez on Friday, looking ever more frail at the age of 71. They were poor against Iran and I think this is where their tournament ends.

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