Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Ronaldo, Suarez put World Cup dreams on line as Portugal face Uruguay

Bruno Alves: 'We are focusing on ourselves' World Cup 2018: Uruguay vs. Portugal preview, players to watch, key stats
Tamara Craig | 30 June, 2018, 16:48

Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino said his team would need to be careful not to give Ronaldo too many free-kick chances.

Tabarez, who has coached Uruguay since 2006, has never hidden his admiration for his captain.

With 27 meetings against Ronaldo in the bruising Spanish capital derby between Atletico and Real Madrid, winning eight times, drawing nine and losing 10, few players are better placed to come up with a strategy to shackle Ronaldo than Godin.

Uruguay keeps Ronaldo without a goal on a frustrating night for Portugal, and the South Americans get into the quarterfinals thanks to an Edinson Cavani goal.

The pressure received from rivals is also greater on the part of the Portuguese.

"We will defend him with the same respect that we defend others", he told a news conference.

For Ronaldo it is a return to the same Fisht Stadium where he scored a hat-trick against Spain earlier in the tournament, but this time he will be up against a Uruguayan defence that was alone among the 32 teams in Russian Federation in coming through the group stage without conceding a goal.

"There's not one single player who can contain him". - All five of Uruguay's goals at Russian Federation 2018 have been scored from set pieces (three from corners, 1 from direct free kick and 1 from an indirect free kick).

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In a now-viral video of the incident, the girl's mother is heard saying, "This woman don't want a little girl to sell some water". She said she had left the windows of her office open as it was very hot and closing it would not have stopped the noise.

Two teams are going to try and win - each team using their weapons.

These two countries with a combined population of 13.5 million have always been overachievers on the global scene - the last decade under Tabarez has seen two-time former winners Uruguay reach one World Cup semi-final and win one Copa America, while Portugal triumphed at Euro 2016.

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 last time Uruguay allowed a goal was in a 4-2 victory over Bolivia in World Cup qualifying last October.

"I don't think it will be a duel between Suarez and Ronaldo", Alves said on Thursday.

"I think we are closer than ever to it". If they can come through Saturday's tie, they may even start to believe that they can go all the way and win a third World Cup, a first since 1950.

Unlike Messi, Ronaldo has led Portugal to an worldwide title, the 2016 European Championship, and at 33, the fanatically well-conditioned player still appears to have the physical gifts of his youth.

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