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Uruguay and France search for their first title

Uruguay and France search for their first title

It will be an interesting final between a country like France, who is in their first final of this tournament, and Uruguay, who only made it once before, losing to Argentina 2-1 in Malaysia-1997.

That is why they both feel that they have a unique opportunity, an important moment in the history of football for their respective countries.

"We are a small country, but rich in football history. That drives us to draw strength however we can," said Uruguayan coach Juan Verzeri, at a press conference in the city of Bosphorus.

Uruguay will also have the added responsibility of defending the honor of South America on this occasion, in a tournament where Conmebol has won, with Argentina (6) and Brazil (5), eleven of the eighteen previous editions, including eight of the last ten.

Europe, by contrast, has traditionally been in the shadow of the South Americans in this tournament, getting six titles, their last being in Nigeria in 1999 when Spain, having in their ranks Xavi Hernandez and Iker Casillas, won the title.

The French team has demonstrated great effectiveness in this tournament and is the highest scoring team (15), largely because of its wins in the second round against host Turkey (4-1) and in the quarterfinals against Uzbekistan (4-0), before getting a tough semifinal win against Ghana (2-1).

Uruguay, in contrast, has been stout in defense with their outstanding goalkeeper Guillermo De Amores conceding just three goals. Uruguay beat Nigeria in the second round (2-1), the big favorite Spain in the quarters (1- 0) and the revelation of the tournament Iraq in the semifinals (7-6 on penalties after 1-1).

Uruguay comes to the final with advantages and disadvantages over their rival

The main advantage is that Verzeri can count on his main players to be fit for this encounter, while France has a significant absence in defender Samuel Umtiti, who was sent off in the semifinals and will be sanctioned for this match.

"Uruguay has a great, great team. We've been seeing what they did before and I have great respect and admiration for this team from Uruguay. They have earned the win in Brazil (in the Sudamericano earlier this year) and the win and elimination of Spain (quarters of this World Cup)," recalled their coach, Pierre Mankowski.

In the battle for the Golden Boot for top scorer of the tournament, two players are taking the lead, Uruguay's Nicolas Lopez and France's Yaya Sanogo. Both have scored four goals which is just one short of Portuguese Bruma, Spaniard Jese Rodriguez and Ebenezer Assifuah from Ghana.