It's just the beginning, say proud Uruguayans | sports | Hindustan Times
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It's just the beginning, say proud Uruguayans

sports Updated: Jul 11, 2010 17:12 IST

Uruguay's players heralded a new era for the two-time World Cup winners in the wake of their 3-2 defeat by Germany in the third place match.

While the result was the same as their clash at the same stage 40 years ago in Mexico, it still represented their best performance at the tournament since their 1970 vintage.

For defender Jorge Fucile their fourth placing was richly deserved - despite their winning the quarter-final against Ghana because Luis Suarez punched the ball off the line in the dying seconds of their match which would have seen the Africans progress 2-1 - and predicted better things to come.

"I am proud of what we have achieved here, we were up to the challenge, among the best four teams," said the 25-year-old Porto fullback.

"However, as we saw against the Germans the difference between us and the historically successful teams is that they have the ice cold temperament and this little bit extra that edges them past sides like us.

"For Uruguay, however, this is the beginning of a new cycle, Uruguay is where it should be. Personally, I am happy of what I have done in the finals, I showed the world who is Fucile," added Fucile, who has garnered three Portuguese titles since he joined from Liverpool Montevideo in 2006.

Hardman midfielder Diego Perez said that there was still room for improvement and two successive 3-2 defeats (the Dutch beat them 3-2 in the semi-finals) left a bitter taste in the mouth.

"It is a strange feeling: Uruguay played well, we scored twice, like against the Netherlands, and we still lost," said the 30-year-old, who plays his club football for French Championship side Monaco.

"However, Uruguay displayed in these two matches that it has made progress, that it can keep the ball and use it, but there are still a few things missing to make us a complete side.

"There is a bitter taste for me that we couldn't offer the country victory in this match but at the same time we have to take the positives out of our campaign, even if we made mistakes that are fatal against stronger teams.

"We leave with our spirits high, proud of the work we have done for the past four years (since coach Oscar Tabarez took over the coaching post), without forgetting that there are regrets."

Perez summed up what the rest of the squad felt about striker Diego Forlan, who took his tally to five goals with one against Germany but whose talsimanic qualities brought much more to the team.