The reissue of the classic match between the group stage rivals during Chile’s 2015 Copa America has generated "extra expectation" in Uruguay, who is reaching the tournament with the "intact chance" to defend the title won in 2011, the president of the Football Association of Uruguay, Wilmar Valdez, told the AFP on Monday.
"It always generates an extra expectation when there is a clash between Uruguay and Argentina, for what it represents for football with two countries with such long historic rivalry," said Valdez, on telephone from Viña del Mar where he witnessed the draw that defined the Uruguayan team as part of Group B along with Argentina, Paraguay and Jamaica.
"Chile’s 2015 Copa America will be very competitive and any group we ended with was going to be difficult," said the leader of the Uruguayan squad, whose team will face their main rival in the beginning phase of the tournament, of which Uruguay has 15 titles and Argentina 14.
Uruguay always "has an obligation to go and win the Cup and while we are playing without Luis Suarez which makes things more complicated, but the team has excellent players and our young boys in recent friendly games have showed they have the ability and worth to make Uruguay very competitive,” concluded Valdez.
And Uruguayans will have to play the tournament without its biggest name, Luis Suarez, who has yet to fulfill an eight-game suspension for biting an opponent, Italian Giorgio Chiellini in Brazil’s 2014 World Cup.
Without Suarez, Uruguay will debut against Jamaica on June 13 in Antofagasta; and will face Argentina on the 16 in La Serena and four days later they close its participation in Group B against Paraguay, their rival in the final of the 2011 edition of the tournament.
Chile’s 2015 Copa America will be played between June 11 and July 4 and the winner qualifies for Russia’s 2017 Confederations Cup.
Text and photo: AFP