MADRID – Luis Suárez sees Uruguay as one of the “candidates” to win the Copa América 2021 and, during an interview with ESPN, admits that Qatar 2022 will be his last World Cup.
The current Atlético de Madrid striker has already won the Copa América 2011 and hopes to repeat the same success in the event that will be played next summer in Argentina and Colombia.
“In all the Copa América, Uruguay has to be believed as one of the candidates because of what history represents and because of the quality of players we have today,” Suárez told ESPN during an event organized by PUMA.
“Most (of the Uruguayan players) are playing at a very high level. Some may be playing more or less minutes, but they are playing in large teams and that generates a certain individual competition that will put the Maestro (Tabárez) in doubt when it comes to putting together a team. And that’s the good thing about Uruguay ”, added the former Barcelona player.
Suárez, who has scored 16 goals in 18 La Liga games for Atlético de Madrid this season, will arrive at the Copa América in great form. However, he is aware that he is already 34 years old and admits that the 2022 World Cup will already be his last major tournament with the national team.
“Yes Yes. There I will be almost 36 years old and one is already aware of age. First, I hope to be able to arrive with the same desire that I have today to compete for a place, knowing that it is difficult because, as one gets older, there are more difficulties when it comes to playing, but with the competitive DNA that you have to show that you can play ”, declared the attacker.
However, and despite the fact that Suárez had a leading role in the 2011 Copa América, even scoring a goal in the final against Paraguay, he recognizes that winning a World Cup is one of the thorns that he has stuck in.
Thus, when asked by ESPN if he still hopes to win a World Cup, he declared: “I remember they even told me:“ Do you know what it is and what it feels like when a son tells you: “Dad, we are world champions? ? Well, a Uruguayan will never feel it ”. That was what they told me and they are words that hurt you as a Uruguayan, you feel bad. But at the same time, one has the pride of saying: if we can compete as equals and we have the ability and great pride to be competitive, why not dream of that possibility? Although we know how difficult it is ”.
Luis Suárez has played 116 games with the national team. He was part of the Uruguayan expedition in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, returned in the Brazil 20214 edition and repeated in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
In the 2010 edition, the colchonero player starred in a highly remembered action when, in the last minute of the quarter-final overtime against Ghana, he dived to avoid a goal with his hand. Suárez was sent off, but Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty and Uruguay made it to the semifinals.
The Atlético forward believes that this action is an example of his love for the national team and makes it clear that he would repeat it again if it were the case.
“I said that I would do it again, because in that case you don’t hurt anyone, there is nothing written that says that you cannot avoid a goal with your hand, that you are expelled as is normal according to the rules of the game and then there is on the kicker to hit it or not. One would risk a lot for the national team and that is one more detail. I have risked many times, also when I have had injuries and I tried to recover quickly despite not being able to play ”, recalled Suárez.
In fact, the Uruguayan says that even today at 34 he still feels something special every time he defends his country’s jersey.
“Every time one is called, one feels that sensation, that adrenaline rush of what it is to play for the national team; Because being Uruguayan generates that for you, it makes you competitive in any game. You are excited every time you go to play because when I was 8 years old, I saw the American champion go to Uruguay in 1995. I was a fan, I tried to go to all the games because I liked soccer and the Uruguayan feels, lives that. Every time you are called, you try to enjoy it to the fullest because you don’t know when the last chance to go to the national team will be, ”concluded the forward.