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Future bright for Copa kings Uruguay

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Tim Vickery | 10:00 UK time, Monday, 25 July 2011

The record 15th Copa America triumph came with a fair dose of suffering - the only way Uruguay know how.

They drew both their first two games. Then they mounted a heroic rearguard action in the quarter final against hosts Argentina, where they had a man sent off in the first half.

But in the end it was conclusive. And so was the message from Buenos Aires after the 3-0 win over Paraguay in the final - last year's run to the World Cup semi finals was no fluke. Uruguay are back.

Much of the credit must clearly go to coach Oscar Washington Tabarez, the thoughtful veteran who has masterminded the resurgence of Uruguayan football. But as I watched his team run down the clock in the second half against Paraguay, I was reflecting on how his entire project could have been derailed right at the start.

Before starting his second spell in charge of Uruguay in 2006, Tabarez spent time ruminating on the consequences of globalisation on his country's football - on how, with a population little more than 3 million, it was impossible for the domestic game to keep hold of its talents, and how it was difficult to maintain a footballing identity in a globalised context. One of his conclusions was that Uruguay's national teams, at all levels, should play the 4-3-3 formation.

This hardline philosophy lasted exactly one competitive game. In their debut in the 2007 Copa in Venezuela, Uruguay were taken apart on the road to a 3-0 defeat by Peru. "Reality was too strong for us," commented the coach afterwards. Time for a rethink. Tabarez understood that Uruguay had to acknowledge their limitations. They had to change their gameplan in accordance with the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent.

Uruguay's football team celebrate their Copa America victory.

Uruguay are celebrating their first Copa America since 1995. Photo: Getty.

Uruguay regrouped in that 2007 Copa, when only a penalty shoot-out defeat stopped them from making the final.

It gave a boost to the prestige of the Tabarez project, which became increasingly important as his team struggled through World Cup qualification, needing a play-off with Costa Rica to secure their place in South Africa.

And instead of an inflexible 4-3-3, Tabarez has kept tinkering away, making little adjustments here and there. The idea of the front three has always been there, though, as the coach sought to take advantage of the firepower of Diego Forlan, Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

In-form and a rising force, Cavani was injured during the course of this tournament - which bizarrely turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Cavani's work rate and spirit of sacrifice make the front three feasible. There is no like-for-like replacement. Take him out and Uruguay were obliged to do something more cautious - which has fitted perfectly with the tone of this Copa America, where in general defences have been on top.

Before the semi-final with Peru Tabarez commented that in this particular Copa those sides which had looked to take the initiative in the game had not succeeded. And then, even though his side were strong favourites, he backed up his words by selecting a midfield of runners and markers, with no creative force.

He stuck with this strategy until Cavani re-emerged for the last half hour of the final with Uruguay two goals up. And these two games - the semi against Peru and the final with Paraguay - were matches where the favourite did not lose, indeed where Uruguay did not concede.

But they would not have won either without Forlan and Suarez. Of course, Tabarez could only get away with such a limited midfield because he can count on such a magnificent strike partnership, made up of two individual talents who put their skill at the service of the collective.

Suarez was the undoubted player of the tournament, and highlighted it with an exceptional early goal that paved the way to victory. To score the goal he ingeniously made space, moving inside Dario Veron to fire left footed low into the far corner - a cameo of the threat he offers, two footed, quick thinking, quick to execute and unpredictable. In short, a defender's nightmare.

But I was especially delighted to see Forlan grab the other two. He has not had an easy time of late, both on and off the pitch. The goals had dried up - he contributed some astonishing misses to this campaign. But the vision and intelligence of his play is truly astounding. He picks options as if he is watching the game from the stands, and I always find him a joy to watch.

A little incident towards the end of the game sums up his commitment to the cause, and the spirit in the Uruguay team. Just inside the last 15 minutes and leading 2-0, Uruguay had a corner, which Paraguay were able to clear. They began to launch a counter-attack, with quick little right back Ivan Piris scuttling forward. Forlan, who had taken the corner, chased back to put the ball into touch. That moment sums up the current Uruguay side.

Forlan deserved his post-match celebrations because there is no guarantee that he will play another major tournament. By the time the next World Cup comes around he will be 35. Some other, too, may have said their tournament farewells. Central midfielder Diego Perez, the symbol of the side, will be 34. Even the captain and centre back Diego Lugano might be struggling at 33.

The good news is that the Tabarez project is kicking in. Uruguay's Under-17 and Under-20 teams are doing well, and a conveyor belt of youngsters are moving through to the senior side - such as centre back Sebastian Coates, playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro and striker Abel Hernandez from the Copa squad.

Uruguay, then, should be able to make serene progress, gently renewing the team during the next set of World Cup qualifiers. A talent like that of Forlan, though, will not be easy to replace. When the time comes, Tabarez will need all his wisdom to find an able substitute.

Comments on the piece in the space provided. Questions on South American football to, and I'll pick out a couple for next week.

Q) Over the past year or so there has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of 18-year-old Juan Manuel Iturbe, although he is now officially a Porto player is there any truth to suggestions linking him with a future sell-on to Manchester United? Also I wanted to get your thoughts on how good he could potentially become as I think he is a very exciting player who if given the chance could grow into a sensation in the Premier League.
Anthony Spencer

A) I've no idea if there's any future deal lined up with Man U, though Porto often buy players with a view to selling them on later. But 'the Paraguayan Messi' is clearly a very exciting prospect. He was born in Argentina of Paraguayan parents, and grew up in Paraguay. He doesn't have the ball tied to his foot in true Messi style, but his slalom dribbling is very exciting. He's a big one to look out for in the World Youth Cup, which kicks off in Colombia later this week. 'The Paraguayan Messi' plays for Argentina!

Q) I was watching Real Madrid playing on their US tour, and Kaka was having a great game - looking very sharp, making those traditional runs from midfield. Do you think Mano Menezes will have a spot for Kaka in the Brazil team given that by the next World Cup he will be 32 or will the emergence of Ganso work against him? Brazil could have sure used him against Paraguay to unlock that defence.
Shayak Banerjee

He's a player who is dependent on his physical condition - take away that burst of acceleration and he's not the same. I would be surprised if Menezes is counting on him for 2014, given his age and injury problems. It's up to Kaka to change his mind.


  • Comment number 1.

    good blog Tim, I wonder if the Youth World Cup will be available to watch for non-subscribing viewers of a television.....

  • Comment number 2.

    That was awesome. I love Uruguay´s play style, their devotion and passion. The "raça uruguaya". That´s entirely how we Grêmio fans expect our club to play, although really, it works better with play-off style tournments and cups than with ultra long leagues with "pontos corridos".

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Tim, been a long time reader of your blog even though this is my first comment. Having closely watched Argentina over the last couple of years, I can't help the feeling that they continue to look disjointed and top heavy in the attacking department. While you mentioned that they are trying to replicate the Barca system to get the best out of Messi, they just do not have the players (or the time) to make such a system work. To play such a system would need a player like Riquelme, who lets be honest South American teams don't produce much of now adays. Which brings me to my final point, I haven't seen Argentina play well as a team since the days of Jose Pekerman, were it not for his tactical error in 2006 I think Argentina would have been well placed to go on and win that World Cup. Do you think the time is now to bring him back (hopefully having learned from his error)?

    Last but not least, hats of to Uruguay really good to see one of the continents traditional powers making a revival and challenging the hegemony of Argentina and Brazil. With a population of only 3.5 million it makes their success all the more phenominal.

  • Comment number 4.

    Congratulations to Uruguay.

    Now we have the Youth Cup to look forward too. Looking forawrd to seeing some future greats make their mark on this tournament.

  • Comment number 5.

    To what extent do you think BBC Sport's reputation has suffered as a result of its almost complete failure to cover the Copa America?

    This site has not provided us even with scores and fixtures much less match reports and comment.

    Bizarrely, the morning after Uruguay's semi final victory, the site did carry a photo of Luis Suarez scoring one of his goals against Peru but it was not captioned as such and its purpose was to illustrate a story about Liverpool's prospects for the new season not Uruguay's progress to the final.

    You will find an audience here Tim, hungry for news of South American football. Whether the BBC will always be prepared to provide the necessary platform to broadcast that news must be in some doubt.

  • Comment number 6.

    thoroughly enjoy all of your blogs Tim
    despite being English and living in England all of my life, football in South America has always been a massive interest of mine.

    can you shed any light on Miguel Medina, the young Paraguay front man. I believe he is still plying his trade in his home country, but have heard and seen a fair bit about him to suggest that he may well become a big star of world football.

  • Comment number 7.

    Congratulations to Uruguay. Deserved winners and as a Liverpool fan seeing Suarez in full flow almost makes up for the disappointment of seeing my club waste £80 million on Carroll, Downing, Henderson and Adam!

    @ 5 - I think it's a bit tricky for Tim to answer that question! But I agree with you that the lack of coverage about the COPA has been an absolute disgrace. To avoid moderation I will not speculate on the reasons why the BBC has ignored this event (Tim's excellent blogs aside!). But to have such a ridiculous over coverage of sub Sunday league standard women's world cup and not even results for the Copa is at best a glaring oversight and at worse...... Work out your own reasons!

  • Comment number 8.

    #5: I was wondering the exact same thing; why has there been no mention (beyond these blogs) of such an important international competition (or the Gold Cup earlier this year, for that matter)? To find out the result here you've got to go through the Liverpool page!!!
    I agree with #7 that Tim is probably not the person to ask, but this does provide a forum to highlight my (and others') disappointment with the BBCs apparent lack of interest in the Copa America.

  • Comment number 9.

    I for one have enjoyed watching what highlights i can on the internet of the competition. As previously mentioned there may have been some restrictions to the coverage of the competition as a whole so it may not be through choice that we dont even get to see the score on the BBC website. It would be nice to have this cleared up though.

    It is a huge shame as i beleive any coverage of any major tournament does a great deal for the country as a whole.

    Im also glad Uruguay won....Im not sure anyone would of predicted a Uruguay Vs Paraguay final.

  • Comment number 10.

    Great final, very competitive, what a tough lot. Paraguay were good but still outplayed.
    As an Arsenal fan I couldn't help wondering what it would be like to have a couple of those tough nuts in my team......

  • Comment number 11.

    I am so pleased with Uruguay's Copa win, especially considering the manner of Paraguay's route to the final, and very pleased to see Suarez putting in performances over and over again to burnish his growing reputation. Liverpool got him for a steal in today's market, and despite being of a strong negative persuasion towards Liverpool, I think with Kenny in charge he is in good hands. Still, and again not a Man Utd fan either, who wouldn't be excited about a Suarez Rooney partnership?
    An excellent analysis of the rise of Uruguay. Thank you very much.
    Dark horses for 2014 perhaps, especially with the extra qualifying spot vacated by Brazil.
    Tim, since you often say that the new position of the Copa in the calendar gives the managers the chance to work out their squads and their style going into the WC qualifiers, what would you say in your "State of the Continent address"? Should Argentina be worried about qualifying? Might Venezuela or Peru follow up their good showing? Will Colombia be too frustratingly unincisive when it matters to make a push for the World Cup? Falcao may have put away the Bolivians, but he was terrible against Peru when it really mattered!
    Can Chile and Uruguay both go from strength to strength? The difference being the latter has fire-power with big-game bottle.

  • Comment number 12.

    I completely agree with shearer96. I can't believe that the BBC haven't covered an international tournament in more detail. They didn't even have some copa america games listed when I looked at the fixture list the other day. Compare this to the coverage of the African Cup of Nations (another tournament I enjoy) where the BBC has brilliant coverage and I'm baffled.
    I know maybe the UK doesn't have that many cultural links with South America but believe me there is a great deal of interest in the Copa America from football fans here.

  • Comment number 13.

    3.5 million people in probably the strongest region on earth and they win it. No San Marino's or Faroe Islands or Wales.

    There is hope for Scotland yet. Well done uruguay!

  • Comment number 14.

    Hi Tim,

    Good article, and its approriate that a football super power like Uruguay gets recognition, Im a huge fan of Argentina but the way they played against Uruguay with an extra man was appauling the best team won, who wanted it more, a better manager as well.
    What next for Argentina? I think they need a total transformation of how they try to play, first of all, they need a couple of hatchet men at the back like what Uruguay have, a couple of no nonscence centre halves, who are dominent in the air, milito is a rubbish player, and burdiso isnt much better, zanneti a great player for Inter but never did it for Argentina, as I have pointed out no leaders in the current squad.
    Surely they have enough choices fr a new manager, the likes of Russo, Bianchi, Bielsa, even Simeone would bring pride back in the jersey.
    Roll on the world cup in Brasil, the pressure on Brasil and Argentina will even be greater have the flop of the Copa America 2011

  • Comment number 15.

    The best team won. If Paraguay had won, i would not watch the Copa's again. They came to the tournament with a negative attitude and parked the bus at their goal post and just sat there. They were hoping for penalties as Roque Santa Cruz said "if we draw again in the final abd beat Uruguay on penalties we will be happy"

    So well done to Uruaguay the deserved victors. I hope they can recall their glory days and win the 2014 World Cup:)

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Tim good article yet again, however can't help feeling that this is the worst Copa America in living memory. The goals scored, the style of football played and the farcical penalties, especially by the Brazilians. Uruguay deservedly won the final, but Paraguay were very poor opponents. Has any team reached a final without winning a game? These issues should have been highlighted by you. Even Uruguay, except for the final, seemed to be grinding out results. If this had been Brazil or Argentina they would have been bitterly criticised. Can you shed light on why Brazil seemed to discard many of their best players for this competition? Why plan for 2014, things may still go wrong, use your best available players for the current competition and introduce new ones along the way. I remember the 2004 and 2007 Copa Americas where Brazil used second string players but they were more united and played as a team. The current team looked rudderless. Same applies to Argentina, neither teams seemed to be wholeheartedly playing to win.

  • Comment number 17.

    #16: It might have been the worst Copa but it is nice to see another team other than Brazil win. After all the Copa belongs to the team that plays well isn't it?

  • Comment number 18.

    The disgraceful lack of coverage of the COPA highlights the prejudices within the BBC; there is no excuse. The BBC covers the African Cup of Nations but not the South American equivalent - that says it all. It rightly gave coverage to the Women's World Cup; England were represented (well done ladies, miles better than any Sunday League). Just watch the different attitude at the BBC when the World Cup is in Brazil in 2014 - they'll be falling over themselves.

  • Comment number 19.

    Well done Uruguay, a great 2010 & 2011. Fantastic to watch them upset the odds.

    The English FA should hang their heads in shame, why cant we emulate Forlan, Lugano and co?

  • Comment number 20.

    Great article again. Great read. High standards as normal for mr. Vickery.
    Congrads to uraguay. Slow starters just like the whole tournament. but really flourish the longer the tournament went on.

    Again reiterating on the past 2 weeks, BBC should be ashamed for their non-existent reporting. At least I am happy I won a bet made last week with my brother that I bet BBC will report the final result.
    Showing up late is not good enough. 25 matches or so. Big teams knocked out early (my favourite being the mighty tevez who gets mentioned all the time by BBC for his status at man city missing the only penalty in the uraguay Argentina match) and some fantastic quality matches. BBC reports that forlan scores twice and Suarez the opener. Well done BBC. Priority is so important to them. Headline news Daley finishes 5th in 10m diving, even though china won all gold medals as an example

    Any chance Tim become head of BBC sports.

  • Comment number 21.

    All 3 goals in the final were awesome, but I think the third one was a work of art. Álvaro G to Cavani to L. Suárez to Forlán in, what, 5 seconds? Speed, quality, pure art. Had Paraguay won I would've stopped watching footie. Well, not really, but you know what I mean. Their display was shameful. And Martino is so cynical I ca't stand it. As a player, he was exquisite and offensive-minded and I'm sure he would've been repulsed by a team playing --or NOT playing-- like Paraguay. Question: How come Lugano is not playing for a team like Milan or Barça. I mean, this guy is solid and his leadership is second to none.

  • Comment number 22.

    How could I forget to thank Tim for his amazing blogs deom the South.

  • Comment number 23.

    @Jogo Bonito: well, maybe Brazil WANTED to lose, hehehe.

    after all, do you know the last two Copas Brazil didnt won? 1993 and 2001. Know what happened in the next year? :)

  • Comment number 24.

    Great Blog Tim, i do also agree with many on here, about the lack of coverage the BBC gave to the COPA but never the less the best team won!

    After this Copa win surely this must push Uruguay up in the world rankings how are they only 18th!!!! and England be 4th! Uruguay finishing 4th in the world cup, win the copa they should easily be in the top 10!

    Best front 3 in the southern hemisphere!!!!????

  • Comment number 25.

    Whitedorset wrote:

    #5: I was wondering the exact same thing...


    Same here.

    I know this might be a bit off topic, but canät you - as one of the few bloggers who seem to really know and care about the game - get the BBC to have a look at their football page?

    I mean, what on earth is this "europe" page supposed to be?

    Surely to goodness the Champions League and Europa League need their own pages, don't they?

    And there just isn't a page on the European championships at all!

    And why was there - and is there - no page covering South America? And, for example, the Copa?

    It's a mess.

    And, to be frank, quite outdated and laughable.

  • Comment number 26.

    I've also just noticed that - even though there is no page for the national teams of England, Scotland, Wales and N Ireland, there IS a page for Eire football.


    It's not even of much interest in Ireland itself!!!

    Get a grip BBC.

  • Comment number 27.

    it's pretty sad that here in Brazil we're subject to Ricardo Teixeira's absurd management of the national team, without any kind of plan, changing his mind according to media demands and the coach calling players for clearly non-football interests.

  • Comment number 28.

    Congratulations to Copa champions Uruguay. Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez are truly world class strikers. Fit and hungry Forlan looks good for another World Cup and even a next Copa America. OW Tabarez is doing fine.

    Nice blog Tim. Thanks.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm not 100% sure but I think the reason the BBC don't cover the Copa on their website is because ESPN have broadcasting rights here in England, and the beeb don't want to promote a rival channel, hence having only the finals result because people can't watch it since it's over. All politics, shockingly.

  • Comment number 30.

    "He picks options as if he is watching the game from the stands....." Like this line Tim. One of life's frustrations is seeing players very rarely take those options. Like you, for me this is one of the pleasures of football.

    As you say, this shows last year wasn't a fluke. Congratulations to Uruguay! Oh to have intelligent coaches!

  • Comment number 31.

    #29 But putting up results is eg) uraguay 3-0 Paraguay with the name of scorers, attendance figure and referee name hardly is promotion.
    I do understand what you are saying and if this is the reason. It is pretty shallow.
    BBC don't have many sports rights anyway so they prob need to erase 60% of their articles

  • Comment number 32.

    The best team won. Congratulations to Uruguay.

    I hope they win the FIFA 2014 world cup.

    For AcesHigh it should not matter what happened after 1993 & 2001 bcoz it is still 2011 & not 2013 to count on history like that. Players coming up in Brazil are playing selfishly & want to project themselves for Europe. Same case with Argentina.

    Glad to see a team other than Brazil or Argentina winning the copa america 2011.

  • Comment number 33.

    Nice Blog Entry Mr Vickery.
    Forlan is the best player we have indeed. Suarez is a craze werewolf with fool moon. Poor Veron, he surely is wondering what the hell happened.

    Thank you for your article.

    Aces High. Are you THE Aces High from the old Iron Maiden´s BB, back in the 90´s?? I wonder. Man we are getting old!

  • Comment number 34.

    Dear Tim, congratulations for your article. In my opinion you certainly describes the real situation about our national team. They won because of his own merits but i don't agree about people comments in sense that Brasil didn´t went with the best players. Besides, i agree with the opinion of Shearer96 that BBC didn't a great difussion about uruguay and the America Cup, only a photo about Luis Suarez who is a striker of the Liverpool. I understand that we're few million but we´re one of the countries which have the most quantity of international championships.

  • Comment number 35.

    I have to add to the comments about the BBC's lack of coverage of the Copa America. The BBC website is sadly mostly filled with uninteresting articles about Fabregas, Rooney etc that don't really add anything to the overall story.

    I wish the BBC would learn that there's more to football than the Premier League, and would publish more articles about the many fascinating football stories around the world.

    Thankfully Tim does an excellent job with this blog, but I'd like more than 1 interesting, original blog a week from the BBC Sport site.

    As for the game, I thought Uruguay outclassed Paraguay. Paraguay looked off the pace, and like a team that was either tired, or had no confidence.

  • Comment number 36.

    Dear Tim,

    In addition to #5's shearer96 comment, I noticed that the BBC hardly reported about Uruguay in the Copa America at all, even when they advanced forward? All that was mentioned was Brazil and Argentina getting knocked out, when Uruguay knocked out Argentina.

  • Comment number 37.

    congratulations to uruguay, the only organized and united team ,deserved winners of a purely negative copa campaign.
    Copa with most cards,most tackles,most failed passes,least goals scored and absolutely no creativity.
    Even uruguay,the winner were too negative in the mid. The brazilian team needs maturity and discipline. They surely will be a different prospect come 2014. Argentina were actually the worst team. That backline is as worse as my high school team. Except for banega and messi,there is absolutely no communication between the creators and the attackers. The coach doesn't know which are his team A. Tevez,who was not selected at first was a starter. diMaria,the only current player who plays well for both club and country wasn't even given a start. Aguero who communicates well with messi was watching from sidelines whole he was the most required player in the pitch. With this attacking power,why don't they just take some feathers from the mad professor 'Bielsa's' cap? Really chile don't seem to need any defender and all their midfielder do is pump the ball to the wings or just kick forward.

    And by the way,why change the argentine way to adopt messi? Messi should change to adopt the argentine way. Well,its the versatility with different formation that makes up a great player. And so Ronaldo has one over Messi. Hope this won't change the topic to Ronaldo vs Messi.
    Don't think there is anymore the 'Shirt' factor anymore in the south americans except for the uruguians. They won because they were collective and unselfish. The way they celebrated each goal showed what it meant to them. Germany and holland are the other team that have such a collectiveness in themselves.
    Remember maracana? Isn't the final there again? Way to go,Uruguay.

  • Comment number 38.

    Uruguay 15
    Argentina 14
    Rest of South America combined 14

    Uruguay won deservedly yesterday and at present are the best South American team. VAMOS URUGUAY!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 39.

    Regarding the BBC's lack of coverage of the Copa America, I emailed them about a week ago to ask why that was, and received the following very polite reply:

    "Thanks for the email.

    Copa America is not a priority for BBC Sport as we are mainly concerned
    with British-based events or which have British-based players. It's also
    fair to say that other websites can provide a better service on this
    event as we have limited resources when it comes to covering this event,
    which we agree is a significant one. We have recently had to prioritise
    other BBC Sport events, such as Wimbledon and the Open this weekend, for

    How that keeps them from reporting results, I have no idea. Plus, British-based players... what, such as Suarez and Tevez, maybe? I think they probably just misjudged the level of interest in the tournament here. The Guardian, meanwhile, was putting articles on it on their front page online, and getting hundreds of comments.

  • Comment number 40.

    It was a great Copa win for Uruguay and a good tournament over all. I'm sure many people would have loved to see the traditional powers of Brazil and Argentina win, but they didn't do enough to get there. As for the lack of coverage of the Copa by the BBC, are you guys really that surprised? It just isn't a hot topic in England and isn't in the interest of the BBC. Just like the BBC could care less what's going on in Portugal for example, and the Portuguese league until Chelsea shows interest in a coach there, then all of a sudden things are mentioned. Then in Spain you have an incident of racism in the crowds, and the BBC were very quick to report on that and tarnish the reputation of the Spanish. Then you have the African Cup of Nations where about the only thing that made the headlines was the shooting on the bus of Togo and Arsenal staff hoping their "asset" Adebayor is ok. But little or no coverage on teams and games that didn't envolve EPL players. They'll be sooner to make a report on a second division garbage English player, then on a rising south american star like Neymar... Until, that is... Chelsea showed some interest in him, now he's a hot topic, had he been picked up by Real Madrid and not given Chelsea a chance to bid, people in England wouldn't even know this kid. Do you think anyone in England knew Cristiano Ronaldo when he was still in Portugal? No. As good a player as he was ALREADY, (he already had his talent long before he played for United) he was never reported on until he absolutely made Man U. players look foolish in a friendly match and he was bought by Man U. then they were all over him in the media. All of this and they won't report on something positive and pro football like the Copa America, and people are surprised that they didn't?

  • Comment number 41.

    @6 Miguel Medina has signed for Udinese in Italy apparently.

    @15 I disagree that Paraguay came to the tournament defensively. In fact, they should have won the first 3 games. They were unlucky to be tied by Brazil in the 88th minute and conceded 2 dodgy goals in the last 5 minutes against Venezuela.

  • Comment number 42.

    Rooney's son's tooth erupts.
    Beckhams don't like blatter coz he didn't invite victoria to his sadist's gala.
    Fabregas prefers barce-cola over arsenic beer.
    Girl from the cafe in motown gives motown a consolation prize.
    These are bbc sport headlines. Come on,who cares of the jersey winner when the whole tour was won by Evans.
    Is bbc trying to catch up with the north americans who don't even know what football is.
    They give the bbc id,but remove the 606 where that id was used the most. Bbc sport page is the most demanded sportpage. Instead of nurturing it further,they're turning into a joke. Oh,bring back 606 days.

  • Comment number 43.


    wales beat scotland 3-0 not long ago

  • Comment number 44.

    Full credit to Uruguay who improved throughout this tournament. As a Spanish friend of mind noted, once Uruguay got past Argentina in that epic quarterfinal, they gained confidence and momentum and then easily defeated both Peru and Paraguay. He compared this to how Spain in Euro 2008 squeaked by Italy on penalties, and then once released from their burden by defeating a traditional rival which has often stood in their way, Spain went on to win Euro 2008. I agree with him that Uruguay did seem to play more freely once they got by Argentina. This Uruguayan team, as they did in South Africa last year showed the traditional "garra charrua" that Uruguayan teams are known for but also played with a lot of intelligence and teamwork. I think most neutrals were happy to see them defeat Paraguay in the final. But as an Argentine it hurt to see Uruguayan fans celebrating in our stadium just as they did in 1987, the last time the Copa America was held in Argentina.

    Many are rightly praising Suarez, Forlan and the ever solid captain Lugano but two other players on the celestes I think also deserve mention, one is Alvaro Pereira, the versatile Porto player capable of playing both as a left back and as a midfielder. Without a true playmaking midfielder, it often was Alvaro Pereira, providing the energy and passing ability, who was the midfield motor for Uruguay. The other player I wanted to spotlight was Sebastian Coates, another of the young players developing in Uruguay and who looks like the eventual successor to Lugano as the leader of the central defense.

    As a Newell's fan I have always admired Gerardo Martino and I think the criticism of his overly defensive play are a bit excessive as his Paraguay teams usually are more attack minded than they showed in the knockout rounds of this tournament. Remember Paraguay did score 2 goals on Brazil and 3 on Venezuela in group play. What handicapped Paraguay was yet another in a series of injuries to Roque Santa Cruz which occurred in that final group game vs Venezuela and effectively ended the tournament for him. Santa Cruz is to Paraguay what Forlan is to Uruguay and without him their attack just is not the same. What did surprise me, however, was how in this final Martino left both Lucas Barrios and Marcelo Estigarribia on the bench, two of Paraguay's better attackers in Santa Cruz' absence.

    Soccer Futbol Forum

  • Comment number 45.

    Felicitas...............That's an interesting reply you received and thankyou for sharing it with us.

    But isn't it just a load of nonsense?

    "British-based events or which have British based players".
    What the ####?
    Many of the contributors to this thread, like me, would have been searching through the list of fixtures and results on this site these past couple of weeks looking for news from Argentina and seen reference instead to friendly matches in places they've never heard of between teams with names they could barely pronounce.
    But would they have found any mention of Brazil? Argentina? Uruguay?
    Limited resources? What resources are needed to publish a couple of results or to buy a few match reports off an agency? Surely Reuters would have obliged with a few lines here and there. Indeed your own man, Tim Vickery could have done it. It's nonsense to talk of lack of resources.

  • Comment number 46.

    congratulations to uruguai and fans. well deserved champions of south america. good effort from paraguai to come this far without winning a match but with that defnesive minded football would've not been quite just to see them be champion. uruguai is for real, they've got a solid youth team coming through and a rich blend of youth and experience in the current side. best of all, they word hard for each other i hope brasil will soon be on same treck. FORCA BRASIL.

  • Comment number 47.

    Load of rubbish by BBC.
    If I remember clearly LA Galaxy vs Real Madrid.
    They had article of Beckham and C Robaldo are very excited about their upcoming match. Besides beckham who is 36 years old and probably not long in his career left. A friendly exhibition match. BBC reports it.

    Also Europa league final with Porto winning had article.
    In fact before villa boas became Chelsea manager, they had huge article on him being the youngest manager to win euro title.
    Very British base and orientated

  • Comment number 48.

    apart from a decent forward line, which will soon be without the ageing Forlan, Uruguay aren't strong enough to be a force in world football. beating mediocre teams in the copa america is one thing, the fact is that up against, for example spain, they would not be so successful, as we saw in the wc.

    people giving their opinons on the quality of a blog continues to baffle me. oh sorry, good blog Tim! great blog Tim!

  • Comment number 49.

    @ tori_torres .37

    Real madrid have made every effort conceivable to make ronaldo the focus of their team, he is a magnificent player but his teamwork skills are feeble, it took man utd a to recover their team mentality that won them the premier league back, replacing the 'give it to our best player' philosophy. the fact that portugal haven't done much in major competitions lately should suggest that, without a decent side playing to his strengths, ronaldo will never win the world cup on his own either.

    and @ messien 48. uruguay got to the semi finals of the world cup, outdoing england, france, brazil, portugal and italy

  • Comment number 50.

    @17 SAGAT4, the best team doesn't always win a competition. Look at the stats, probably the least goals scored, maybe the highest number of yellow and red cards, negative defensive play by most teams, if i was Paraguay i'd be embarrased to be in the final without having won a game. Winning is one thing but show a bit of style and adventure while you're at it.

    @27 FALCAO 79 Yes you're right, the corrupt Ricardo Texeira needs to step down. He's been the head of CBF for too long. Mano Meneses needs to use the best players available or he is heading for failure. He has won nothing yet. He should step down. Carlos Dunga was a winner and a great motivator who could get results. Look at his record. Don't worry about extravagantly beautiful football, it's the winning that matters, just ask the 1982 and 1986 Brazil squads under Tele Santana.

  • Comment number 51.

    Real madrid have made every effort conceivable to make ronaldo the focus of their team, he is a magnificent player but his teamwork skills are feeble, it took man utd a to recover their team mentality that won them the premier league back, replacing the 'give it to our best player' philosophy. the fact that portugal haven't done much in major competitions lately should suggest that, without a decent side playing to his strengths, ronaldo will never win the world cup on his own either.

    and @ messien 48. uruguay got to the semi finals of the world cup, outdoing england, france, brazil, portugal and italy.

    What's your point? No one can single handedly win a world cup, every good player needs some back up to perform at his best and achieve the teams goals. Players like Eto'o and Drogba on their respective national teams is testament to this. Real Madrid haven't tried to make Ronaldo the focus of their team, he earned the focus of their team with what he does on the pitch, there's a difference. And as for his teamwork skills, who do you think made his teamwork skills feeble? Cristiano did just fine as a team player while at Sporting. But when Man U. comes along and takes a young player who's already in a technical league and team to a seemingly anti-technical EPL and brings him into a team that may be superior in name but not in the technical quality, team work and unity, what do you think is going to happen? The "pass it to your best player" was already in place long before Ronaldo got there and the result was a talented player playing the most important years of his football career in a team that has simplified his playing style over time, destroying his strengths, and creating unnecessary weaknesses in the process. They instead turned him into a player in the English mold: Speed and athleticism were the priority now instead of finesse and skill. He stayed at the wings but because he had a knack for goal he was supplied the ball more and more and scored many goals in an increasingly offensive role. He seemed to have no trouble beating defenders for some strange reason. Possibly because over-steps and drag backs seem to be something new in the EPL that defenders haven't quite caught on to, so he blew past them with ease. But over all, his simplified role at Man U. of having the ball sent to him, making a straight line run along the sideline, or cutting in for a shot over and over again, could be the reason that his team skills are less than stellar. The good news is that he now IS in a technical league again, on a team that enjoys playing beautiful football, the type Ronaldo was meant to play. So slowly but surely he's getting back the team oriented skills that had been dulled at United, while at the same time getting better for his national team as well. So instead of your pathetic attempt to "protect" Messi's reputation because of a terrible spell at the Copa, by trying to tarnish Cristiano Ronaldo's reputation, why don't you just tune into La Liga, watch them both, and enjoy because there are no other players in the world right now that come even close to those two, regardless of what their respective teams do. Great single players don't automatically mean great collective teams, but great collective teams can lead to some great individual players.

  • Comment number 52.

    Uruguay's success comes from Tabarez keeping the team together and their communal growth as a team and as friends.

    And he will now get the opportunity to spend a month with them for the 2013 Confederations Cup and for the 2012 Olympics, where the under-23 spine of Coates, Lodeiro and Hernandez can be topped up with Lugano, Alvaro Pereira and Suarez.

    They have an extra bite at the qualifying cherry for 2014 with Brazil out of the group, and if they use those 2012 and 2013 opportunities well they will be force to be reckoned with in 2014. Especially as they will be seeded now, and based across the border at Porto Alegre.

  • Comment number 53.

    #48, Messien

    You are the one that baffles us all…

    1) All quarterfinals, semis and the final games were great games. Perhaps you haven’t seen them;
    2) Uruguay deserves a lot of credit for the way they played (with 10 men) against Argentina. And Uruguay was simply the better side against Peru and Paraguay. What is wrong about that?
    3) Uruguay went to WC semis at South Africa. How bad is that?
    4) So it is necessary to beat Spain to be good? Switzerland did that at last WC. Perhaps they are a good team to you. But to me they are just an European version of Paraguay. LOL

  • Comment number 54.

    Incidentally, my Porto Alegre comment is significant for the BBC's beloved England. Uruguay will be seeded and based over the border at Porto Alegre, while Argentina will be based over their border at Curitiba.

    Brazil will presumably be based at Sao Paulo, which means that the other top teams miss out on cool weather matches and in many cases will mean the sweltering tropical heat of Fortaleza, Natal and Recife. Which will be great for tourists, but terrible for the likes of Rooney, Gerrard or Van Bommel and De Jong.

  • Comment number 55.

    I am lucky, as a Brit living in USA married to a Peruropean and South American Soccer Peruvian we get European and South American Soccer here.

    This Copa was great and very entertaining, with the big boys going out early it was thrown wide open.Nice to see Peru get a decent side together, they never gave up even when losing. a great improvement on recent years.Congratulations Uruguay and Paraguay

  • Comment number 56.

    Correction to bad typing,, I am lucky, as a Brit living in USA married to a Peruvian we get European and South American Soccer here.

    This Copa was great and very entertaining, with the big boys going out early it was thrown wide open.Nice to see Peru get a decent side together, they never gave up even when losing. a great improvement on recent years.Congratulations Uruguay and Paraguay

  • Comment number 57.

    I was one of those saying that Uruguay only got to the semifinals of the 2010 WC because of the "easy" path they got, facing the likes of South Korea and Ghana. How wrong I was!... All 3 Brazil, Argentina and Chile had (in theory) easy games at the Copa but they could not win when it counted. Uruguay did, showing that to win a championship you have to beat everyone, not just so-called tough teams.

    Argentina lost the plot a while ago and Brazil no longer has the great players to hide their inadequacies. While Chile, attractive to watch as they were, seemed more concerned on who they were going to face in the final rather than doing the job at hand and paid for their arrogance.

    Congratulations to Uruguay and looking forward to what will be a very tough 2014 WC qualifiers from South America, based on what we've seen at the Copa America.

  • Comment number 58.

    @48 Messien: "beating mediocre teams in the copa america is one thing, the fact is that up against, for example spain, they would not be so successful, as we saw in the wc"

    Unfortunately Uruguay hasn't played Spain for ages. At the WC they did play the Netherlands and Germany (#2 and 3 in the world) and both were cracking games that could have gone either way.

    Uruguay played Germany again, in Germany, earlier this year and that was a cracker too (2-1 to Germany) and the Netherlands in Montevideo (drawn, beat on penalties). Clearly, Uruguay is a tough nut to crack and in the next FIFA ranking they will deservedly rank 5th.

    No one disputes that Spain are considerably more talented, but Uruguay could give them a game anytime. If you can't see that I guess there's a grudge there somewhere because no sane person would disagree with that.

  • Comment number 59.

    And that's not the only big news from Argentina today- the first division has been completely revamped, and will comprise 40 teams split into groups.... So RiBer, no matter how badly they do, will only be in the second division for one season. More on that here:

  • Comment number 60.

    My bad- should have said, the other news is that Batista is out, the AFA statement says he wasn't sacked.

  • Comment number 61.

    Rule 1: River Plate and Boca Juniors can never be relegated
    Rule 2: If either River Plate or Boca Juniors are relegated, see Rule 1...or change the system.

  • Comment number 62.

    and while they're at it, the AFA should re-appoint El Diego...

  • Comment number 63.

    I suppose I should start by complimenting the quality of the blog - despite my limited journalistic skills meaning I’m not qualified to judge, I don’t want to feel left out so I’d better stick my head up “Tims” proverbial like the rest of the posters here :rolleyes: We love you Tim! Can I be your friend too? God it makes me cringe!!!

    Re: the BBC coverage – Does it really matter? The info was available on a multitude of other websites. People obviously have too much time on their hands.


  • Comment number 64.

    Tim, I agree about Uruguay's U-20 and U-17 teams, they played excellent football in Mexico City. Congratulations to Uruguay, they were definitely the better team in the Copa. I would have liked to see the Mexican side from the Copo Oro instead of the scrub team, as that might have meant a different outcome. Alas! And congrats to Tabarez, it's hard to argue with success.

    @ Falcao & Jogo_Bonito, make it a consensus that Teixeira needs to go. I don't understand how Menezes got the job, while Dunga seems to be a bad word in Brasil. Brasil played as if they had no direction, with only a few moments of competence. I think the Neymar hype is grossly overblown, and that Fred should have started with Neymar on the bench. And although Robinho seemed to play better in the third game, I don't understand why he's still on the team. And don't get me started on Lucio. The one solitary good move that Menezes made was to sit Alves in favor of Maicon. If this is what the CBF is going to offer up for 2014, Brasil should be very worried.

  • Comment number 65.

    Well I must say congratulations to Uruguay, but for non footballing reasons, I was backing Paraguay, for the simple reason that Larissa Riquelme said she would strip in Paraguay won!!!

  • Comment number 66.

    *if Paraguay won, as opposed to, in Paraguay won, which makes no sense at all!

  • Comment number 67.

    @1 all FIFA WC -20 games will be live on Fifa website, so if you have a lap or desktop, you"ll be fine. Quality of streaming is really good. Downside is that all games start @ 12 PM or 3AM for us...

  • Comment number 68.

    @52, 54 As Uruguay didn't compete in WC 2006, i doubt they will be seeded for WC 2014 (should qualify first) ? I heard about clustering venues for the groups to limit travelling, but are there already (unofficial) plans to "place" countries in certain regions as i was not aware...

  • Comment number 69.

    Nice to see this tournament eventually being covered by the BBC. I have watched it on ESPN and followed the official web site from the start and I was dissapointed in the BBC's lack of coverage, given that this is the second best Continental world Football tournamnet, featuring many household names. Liverpool fans can be pleased by the success of Suarez and particularly his work rate and impressive movement. Challengers to Man UTD this year?

  • Comment number 70.

    The beeb had an article about the final. Gave us choice facts like Diege being the third generation of Forláns to win the copa. Nice one. Uruguay has always been best-guay. Puts into perspective how poorly England does on the world stage.

  • Comment number 71.

    #50: Jogo_Bonito : agreed but Brazil does not 'own' the Copa's ;)

  • Comment number 72.

    Ditto, shearer96 and others - I rely on this website for soccer news & it failed to provide adequate or even any coverage of the tourney.

    Why was this Tim? Do you know?

    AND its the ruddy off season in the UK, pls give us your thoughts cos lots are lamenting this.

    Glad that people are noting the unselfishness of Suarez. He takes stick cos of the handball but his commitment to the cause is unquestionable.

    Like with Tevez, you can criticise the BS they bring, but on the pitch they are mustard.

    But caaahm down LFC las, Gerrard, Suarez, Carroll, Downing, Adam are all well and good but, and I say this one more time on here..............LFC aint doing nothing, not a thing, until..........they replace.............a certain.............XABI ALONSO**. yes indeed.

    **see also; Tommy Smith, Jimmy Case, Graham Souness, Steve McMahon, Didi Hamman and errrrrr Paul Ince.

    ok maybe not Ince

  • Comment number 73.

    Messien's comments about Uruguay's mediocrity are extraordinary. They have finished 4th at the World Cup and won the Copa America ahead of Brazil and Argentina, and deservedly so.

    For Argentina, only Messi, Mascherano, Higuain, Tevez and Aguero are of proven international class, and their defence and midfield are a mess.

    For Brazil it is even worse: Neymar and Ganso have failed on this stage and only an ageing Lucio and Maicon are of top class.

    But Uruguay are showing how consistent management and keeping a team together can work wonders. And now they will spend a month together next summer at the Olympics (Coates, Lodeiro and Hernandez are under 23, and likely to be joined by Lugano, Alvaro Pereira and Suarez to ensure that the exercise blends the generations). Then the year after they have the Confederations Cup.

    68.At 09:59 26th Jul 2011, Greatold wrote:
    @52, 54 As Uruguay didn't compete in WC 2006, i doubt they will be seeded for WC 2014 (should qualify first) ?

    Actually, you're wrong. Holland failed to qualify in 2002 and were eliminated in the Round of Sixteen in 2006, yet were seeded in 2010.

    Uruguay are double World Cup winners, finished 4th in 2010 and won their Continental title in 2011, and are Brazil's neighbours and would probably send upwards of 50,000 fans to Porto Alegre. If they qualify for the 2014 World Cup they are dead certs to be seeded.

  • Comment number 74.

    Totally off topic I know but has any noticed the news from Argentina (no not the sacking of Batista) of merging the 2 first tiers of the league together into regional divisions, is this purely coincidental or purely because River went down...

  • Comment number 75.

    #74- I think this ridiculous plan to have a 38 team league is to help out Julio Grondona's re-election bid for AFA president. A new league will pay out greater money (coming from the state broadcaster by the way) to the teams currently in the Nacional B (2nd Division) so by giving the current 2nd division clubs more money (with a bit more for the current first division clubs too) Grondona feels like he will buy their votes when AFA's election takes place in October.

  • Comment number 76.

    My club Newell's was one of only four clubs who abstained in the provisional voting yesterday. As the club president noted, "I could not have told our socios (club members) that I just voted to promote Central (Rosario Central, Newell's rival) when they have not deserved it! LOL

  • Comment number 77.

    # 52, 54 and 73 (yakubusdiet)

    I agree with you that if Argentina and Uruguay qualify to the 2014 WC (and I think they will) they will probably be considered group seeds. But don’t forget that Germany, Italy and even Spain have hundreds of thousands of immigrants in southern Brazil. So they may want to play there as well.

    Don’t forget that - since the order of the seeds follow FIFA ranking (as far as I know) - other countries may choose Porto Alegre (and Curitiba) before Argentina and Uruguay. Maybe even FIFA will want that in order to restrain a barra brava’s (hooligans) invasion.

  • Comment number 78.

    Adding to my previous comment...

    Temperature at game time will be a major concern at 2014 WC.

    Temperatures will be bellow 15 (or even 10) at Curitiba and Porto Alegre; but temperatures will be above 30 at cities like Brasilia, Cuiabá, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Recife and Salvador. São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro will probably have temperatures ranging between 20 and 30 degrees.

    So I guess that European countries will try to prevent from playing at 30 degrees heat.

    Argentina and Uruguay will have to do their best to be at the top of FIFA’s ranking if they want to play at Porto Alegre, Curitiba, São Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro.

  • Comment number 79.

    I really enjoyed this Copa America although I expected more from Brazil and Argentina.

    But have in mind that this Copa America results will boost South America qualifiers for the next WC. Perhaps that is Copa America’s greatest contribution. Countries like Venezuela and Peru may become be contenders at last. So, beware Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile. There are only four spots remaining.

    Perhaps Tim will give us an in deep analysis of next WC qualifiers soon.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    Congrats to Uruguay, worthy winners no doubt. Can't help but feel Paraguay made a mistake though in changing Veron to the left. (Plays centreback mostly but did well down the right hand side in previous games). He was given a torrid time by Suarez all match. Shame really, as he's a great player for Pumas, the bedrock on which a successful team has been built for the last few years.

  • Comment number 82.

    I agree entirely with shearer96. BBC coverage of the Copa America was disappointing.

  • Comment number 83.

    @67: gracias amigo - good knowledge

  • Comment number 84.

    @81 Interesting comment about Veron being switched to the left. I was talking to a friend about that. We concluded that he was put on the left to deal with Suarez, as Veron is faster than da Silva. I personally would have preferred to start with alcaraz. not sure why he didn't play.

    Veron was also played on the left of the back 3 in the second game against Venezuela, and looked very uncomfortable (although you could say the whole backline was uncomfortable).

    He's a quality player though and I'm disappointed Martino didn't play Veron and Alcaraz as the 2 CBs, but i think he went for da Silva's experience and leadership.

  • Comment number 85.

    Reading through the comments about lack of interest in the tournament by BBC, and Britain in general, I think the competition suffered , like all South American football,from the time difference with Europe.

    I would have loved to have watched the semi-finals,, but they began at 1.45am in England, on midweek days - no good if you have to get up for work the next day!

    Why on earth did they schedule these games at this time?

    At least the classic Argentina v Uruguay quarter-final was on a sat night/sunday morning, but it was still very late, in the early hours of the morning.

    At least, the final was on at a good time - 8pm in Britain (most pubs showed it), and I noticed there was a lot of genuine interest from friends/ people in the pubs.

    But it's just a shame that a lot of the other matches weren't on at comvenient times

    - I don't see why they couldn't have scheduled the semi-finals and group games at 6pm Argentina time (!0pm British time)? That way there would've been more interest, and therefore more reporting, in Britain

  • Comment number 86.

    Thanks for your usual informative & entertaining blog, and congrats. to Uruguay, definitely the best team in the competition as far as teamwork & talent goes (dont forget that they have won this cup 15 times, an amazing feat when you consider the population of +/- 3 million) I've always been an admirer of Forlan a great player and combined with Suarez a killer combination, but the whole team played as a team and not like Brasil & Arg. a ragged unorganised bunch of prima donnas, like you Tim I live in Brasil so was able to watch all the matches on local tv and was disgusted with Brasil's performance especially the penalty shootout with Paraguay, 4 shots & 3 not even between the posts, most Brasilians won't even hear criticiscm about the national team but most of my local friends are genuinely worried about not even making the final never mind about winning it, Mano Meneses has not shown that he is capable of putting a winning team together, I shudder to think about their next friendly against Germany, but as some bloggers commented the interference from the likes of Ricardo Teixeira doesn't help any coach of Brasils national team, politics in football here is about the same standard as Fifa, look out English team he has stated in the local press he will get even for corruption allegations published in the english media when the WC is held here, someone commented about the variable weather conditions, quite rightly as any team that has to play at Manaus will suffer, especially european teams, they will be training & playing in the middle of the steaming Amazon jungle !!!, the only way to get there is by plane or boat, the decision to build a stadium there is ludicrous, just check out the distances from the other capitals, the furthest is Fortaleza a staggering 1,479 miles, thats like flying from London to Tripoli (34 mls closer) just imagine the financial aspect as well as logistics so don't be surprised if we have to play there, to me thats definitely not a level playing field so depending on the draw it will have an unfair advantage to the teams playing in the south, apologies to all I'm getting off the subject of Tim's blog which is Congratulations to Uruguay !!!, it's a great place for a holiday as well, quite different from Brasil, cheers to all from Macae, Rio state. SALUD CELESTE

  • Comment number 87.

    #85 - "I don't see why they couldn't have scheduled the semi-finals and group games at 6pm Argentina time (!0pm British time)? That way there would've been more interest, and therefore more reporting, in Britain".

    Hmmm, there might have been more interest in Europe, but it's the Copa AMERICA. The interest in South America may have dropped.

  • Comment number 88.

    Tim, this is the first time I am commenting although I read your blog everyday. Again unbelievable. And thanks for all the amazing comments.

  • Comment number 89.

    At 20:11 25th Jul 2011, Felicitas wrote:
    "Thanks for the email.

    Copa America is not a priority for BBC Sport as we are mainly concerned
    with British-based events or which have British-based players.
    I am absolutely stunned by this! I cannot imagine that BBC has written something like this. However, hope by seeing this thread they now understand that people do look for non-british based events having non-british based players (even on bbc).

  • Comment number 90.

    Great stuff as always Tim.

    I'm a big Forlan fan as well and while he definitely wasn't as influential as he was in the WC, it would have been nigh on impossible to achieve those heights again. Uruguay are a very good unit mixing fantastic and very effective players, but they will surely struggle with Diego calls it a day. Maybe Lodeiro will eventually come to the fore in a creative role?

    Am I the only one who couldn't care less about the BBC coverage of the Copa? Granted this is from a purely selfish point of view - as it meant I could read the BBC sports news at work, then go home and watch the games taped from the night before without knowing the scores. Sky+ and all that.

    Surely there are other websites that provide match reports? The offended should email the BBC instead of boring the rest of us to tears!

  • Comment number 91.

    @33 Juan: yup, its me. I dont remember any Juan there however. What nickname you used?

    @Beautifulgame: I know pal. I was joking. Although some people DO believe in this kind of thing. Specially players and coaches. Its quite known some players/coaches will repeat the same tshirt in every game, for luck, and other excentric stuff...

  • Comment number 92.

    @ 53 Luiz

    I'm actually baffled by your post, to be honest

    you're trying to build a case for what uruguay have recently achieved. the fact that the quaters, semis and final were 'great games' doesn't make up for the lack of quality in those sides! Argentina and brasil are in turmoil, and the rest of the teams have limited amount of quality players - this is not uruguay's fault, but trying to say they will be the new force in world football for beating paraguay and peru is a bit much.

    as for the wc, a big reason for their success was forlan who as i said is the wrong side of 30. in their group they had to beat the might of mexico, south africa and a france team that was a shambles. then they beat the might of south korea and ghana before being beaten by the first decent team they came up against, holland.

    as for spain, picking a single game as an example is a bit churlish, and you seem to imply than spain isn't the barrometer for international sides at the moment! the fact is they won the whole tournament, which is the only thing anyone remembers, rather than a side that finished in the semis...


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