Nizhny Novgorod, Russia: Uruguay midfielder Carlos Sanchez said on Sunday that he was living the dream after debuting for his national team against Egypt in both teams' 2018 FIFA World Cup opener in Russia.
Sanchez made an assist from a free kick to his compatriot Jose Maria Gimenez to give Uruguay a late 1-0 win over Egypt on Friday, helping Uruguay earn its first World Cup opening victory in 48 years.
"It was a dream that came true after hard work and great effort to debut and help my teammates win Friday's game," Sanchez said at a press conference.
The Uruguay international acknowledged he had rehearsed for the free kick during training sessions.
Sanchez reiterated that he is happy to debut with a victory, boosting the level of confidence instilled in him by Uruguay's coaching staff.
The Monterrey midfielder also spoke about his personal evolution, saying he is now a more mature player than several seasons ago when he was at Liverpool.
Asked about Uruguay's next match against Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, he said the Saudi side is "very tough" despite losing 5-0 to Russia in their World Cup opener.
Sanchez stressed that Uruguay only cares about playing all its games well, emphasizing the necessity of winning Wednesday's match to be one step away from qualifying for the next round.
Uruguay is now in second place in Group A with three points, with Russia first on goal difference, while Egypt and Saudi Arabia are third and fourth respectively.