Uruguay manager Óscar Tabárez singled out Barcelona striker Luis Suárez following his side’s 1-0 win over Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, with the 31-year-old scoring the decisive goal at the Rostov Arena.
The former Ajax and Liverpool star pounced on an error from Saudi keeper Mohammed Al-Owais in the first half and despite La Celeste’s inability to notch a second, they held on to book their place in the knockout phase of the World Cup.
“Of course, we demand a lot more from this type of player,” Tabárez said after the game, quoted by Sky Sports.
“I saw Luis today and I can assure that I don’t give him any gifts when I praise him. I thought he played a lot better today in this match, especially because he was fighting hard, he was very fit, very physical.
“He always shows his character and with an enormous sense of responsibility. He takes on the pressure and he lives with pressure all the time and that’s a very distinctive feature of Luis.
“He has some much potential that he always gives us hope. We must recognise that he’s a crucial player to our national team because he shows solidarity on the pitch, he has a sense of responsibility and he has that enormous capacity to score goals.”
Uruguay will now take on the World Cup’s host nation to fight for top spot in Group A. Russia have also claimed maximum points from their opening two games, but they have a far superior goal difference to La Celeste.