MX23RW : Tuesday, February 19 11:47:47

Oscar Tabarez talks up Luis Suarez importance

Tabarez talks up Suarez importance
© Reuters
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez talks up the importance of Luis Suarez to his side ahead of their World Cup opener against Egypt.

Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez has talked up the importance of Luis Suarez to his side ahead of their World Cup opener against Egypt this afternoon.

The two-time world champions will get their campaign underway in Ekaterinburg looking to respond to Russia's statement on the opening day, with their Group A rivals running out 5-0 winners over Saudi Arabia.

Suarez is considered Uruguay's key player, and Tabarez insists that the Barcelona striker is in the right frame of mind despite courting controversy at previous World Cups - celebrating a handball against Ghana in 2010 and biting Giorgio Chiellini four years later.

"Suarez comes to the tournament as a very mature player," Tabarez told reporters at his pre-match press conference.

"What happened in Brazil is part of reality and has helped him mature. Luis is very smart and well prepared mentally. With all the good things he can do, he is key for the team.

"Getting here for us is already important. We arrived with the expectation of enjoying the World Cup and achieving great things."

Suarez has scored five goals and created two more in his previous World Cup appearances.


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The Uruguay squad lines up for their official photo shoot ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia
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