CAPE TOWN - Uruguay can win a third World
Cup even if they cannot regain a permanent place back at the top
table of football, coach Oscar Tabarez said on Monday.
"It would be utopian to think of Uruguay's permanence at the
summit ... but we can believe in circumstantial results,"
Tabarez said on the eve of Uruguay's semi-final against
Netherlands in Cape Town.
"I think the World Cups are quite full of (surprise) results
that people don't expect and which today continue to cause
astonishment," he told a news conference.
Uruguay, having won the first World Cup as hosts in
Montevideo in 1930, caused a huge shock by upsetting Brazil in
the 1950 decider, the so-called Maracanazo, for their second
The Uruguayans have struggled internationally since, their
best placing coming in the semi-finals in Mexico in 1970. They
have only reached four of the last 10 World Cups.
"(At the draw) when we landed our (difficult) group, they
were saying prayers for us," Tabarez said.
"We're at a party to which we were not invited ... but we
have the right to stay. It depends on us," former school teacher
Tabarez, known as El Maestro, said.
He said the world had changed since Uruguay's heyday in the
first half of the last century when they also won the Olympic
title twice, in 1924 and 1928.
As a small nation of little more than three million people,
the handicaps had become too great.
"The difference between the first and third worlds is much
greater now ... Luckily, good players keep appearing (in
Uruguay) but not in big numbers. In other countries they have
more players than we have inhabitants.
"(But) if we hadn't had dreams up to now, and still had
them, we wouldn't have got here," he said.
"We're conscious we haven't played great football but I
don't think it's just down to luck."
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