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Uruguay Coach Tabarez: One Player Cannot Stop Ronaldo

Uruguay Coach Tabarez: One Player Cannot Stop Ronaldo

By James Agberebi

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has stated that his team will not be obssessed about stopping Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in Saturday’s Round of 16 clash of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Uruguay go into the game on the back of an impressive group stage performance where they secured all nine points.

Portugal, on their part, had to toil hard to progress from the group stage with five points.

Tabarez, 71, however did admit that handling Ronaldo was going to take a lot of focus and concentration – saying that it was potentially a job for two men.

“He is one of the best strikers in the world. When he’s on top of his game, he’s the leader of that team,” Tabarez said in his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“There’s not one single player who can contain him. Not Diego Godin. Nobody.

“We are going to have to work collectively. We’re going to take him seriously but I’m not going to obsess over it.

“We aren’t going to lose any sleep over him.

“We’ll be focused. But nine of those Portuguese players on that pitch are European Champions.

“That speaks of their collective quality.”

And on his team’s knowledge about the European champions, Tabarez said: “We have a couple of ideas regarding our opponents.

“Some of my players know them better than I do. I’ve told them they need to be calm.

“We’ve got a lot of experience out there and there’s plenty of opportunity to spring a surprise.

“We’ve been working together towards this for 12 years. We’ve made it to the World Cup and in the last three matches we have shown what we can achieve.

“I think we are closer than ever to it.”

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