Montevideo: Uruguay face former champions Italy and England at the World Cup finals next month but their opening Group D match against Costa Rica will be the most difficult to win, captain Diego Lugano said on Wednesday.
“It is the first one, which is obviously always the most difficult for us, and for them also because it is the game where we should obtain the three points,” Lugano said.
“And surely our opponents are probably super motivated for this first game against Uruguay,” he told a news conference at the team`s training camp outside the capital.
Lugano said Uruguay were not favourites to win the title but would play an important role.
“The reality is that we are not candidates. We do, no doubt, have the potential to have a leading role and we also have the desire for glory and to continue doing big things,” the central defender said.
“What awaits us in Brazil is a path on which no team and no supporter knows for sure what they’re going to find. It’s unpredictable in all aspects.
“In sporting terms it’s very even, I don’t recall seeing a World Cup with so many good teams, so many good players reaching a high level at the same time.”
Defender Jorge Fucile said they were often asked if they had a chance to repeat the “Maracanazo” when Uruguay shocked hosts Brazil in the deciding match of the 1950 World Cup to win their second title.
That game was played at the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, where this year’s final will also be held on July 13.
“I think when we are born, people instil the Maracanazo into us. I think this is a different story and we have the dream and joy we all have to go to the World Cup,” he added.
“I think the Maracanazo was historic but this is another story and we have to write it ourselves," added Fucile, like Lugano a veteran of the 2010 finals in South Africa where Uruguay finished in fourth place.