FIFA World Cup 2018: Edinson Cavani trains but Uruguay coach mum on inclusion

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez played down his side’s title prospects and further added that a strong defensive showing is needed against France.

football Updated: Jul 05, 2018 23:42 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, Nizhny Novgorod
FIFA World Cup 2018,World Cup 2018,France vs Uruguay
Uruguay's Edinson Cavani during training at Nizhny Novgorod, Russia on July 5, 2018. (REUTERS)

Edinson Cavani returned to training on Thursday but Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez refused to answer questions on the forward’s calf injury.

Speaking to reporters on the eve of the quarter-final clash against France, Tabarez said: “I think we have already given enough information about Cavani’s injury. We have said what happened exactly. We issued press releases explaining exactly what kind of exams he had to go through, but people did not respect them. I am not going to speak any more on Cavani.

“I don’t want to get into games. In less than 24 hours, you will know who will play and who will be on the bench. Some people are saying that we are trying to pretend. But we are not trying to pretend, nor are we trying to create doubts or rumours. I cannot give you all information about my team as I don’t get all information on the French team either.”

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Tabarez, however, had words of praise for France and their coach Didier Deschamps.

“France are a great team and this French team in particular is very strong. Some of their current players were involved in the U-20 final against Uruguay (in 2013),” he said.

“Deschamps was a Juventus player when I was coaching in Milan. He was a great midfielder and then he started coaching teams. I think he has shown here that he has been able to help his players make the most of their skills. He is very intelligent, very practical,” added Tabarez.

Asked about his style of play, Tabarez said Uruguay will need to continue to be strong in defence to beat France. “We really, really count on our defence. It’s really important; we know it. I am not saying that we are completely balanced as a team, but we are going to try and use our strengths,” he said.

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The septuagenarian tactician, however, chose to temper expectations when asked about Uruguay’s title prospects.

“We know what reality is. Many people will say what kind of country we are; our characteristics, our limitations, but we know all that. We have prepared taking everything into account.

“We have to see what happens tomorrow. There’s a song in our country that says ‘never the favourites, always from the back’. That’s what we feel like. We are very proud of that. It might be a limitation but it’s the basis of what we are doing here; it’s the root of our efforts,” he said.

First Published: Jul 05, 2018 23:35 IST