THE BALL – Álvaro Pereira in exclusive THE BALL: «Portugal and Uruguay are hungry for protagonism» (Uruguay)
Of the 452 games played in his career as a senior in clubs, Álvaro Pereira made 119 games in Portugal, at the service of FC Porto, the sweetest slice of the cake, for winning two championships, two cups and three super cups. All of this in three seasons, between 2009 and 2012. The former Uruguayan winger, now 36 years old, started his coaching career in Argentina in the 4th Division, at Defensores Cambaceres, at a time when some athletes of his generation are yet to compete in the FIFA World Cup. 2022 for the plow selection, cases of Muslera, Cáceres, Godín, Suárez or Cavani. They will be Portugal’s opponents in a dispute to qualify for the round of 16. Álvaro Pereira couldn’t be more attentive for his friends and priceless recordings of Portuguese football.
′′ I see a game between two teams with their importance in the World Cup. They will have their papers in the test, I won’t say candidates, but surely carrying the desire to be protagonists in Qatar. I think it will be a game that will define the top position in the group», underlines ‘el Palito’, 83 games and 7 goals for the Uruguay national team. In 2016, he said goodbye to international duties for the celestials, he no longer lived in the squad that Portugal expected in 2018.
«We see normal changes in orientations, the circumstances of the game also changed. Before it was the round of 16, now it’s a group stage. There is a generational shift and a mix of young players. We don’t know if the percentage of rookie players will favor or disfavor any of the teams. What I do know is that as soon as the referee blows the whistle, there will be a very balanced match between two teams hungry for protagonism and brilliance», clarifies Álvaro Pereira, who lived seven years of hard work with Óscar Tabárez, the man playing for a small country for a job of election. Now in charge is Diego Alonso.
«Tabárez was the boss of this Uruguay, he imposed a very strong image. It’s a brand that doesn’t go away, but Diego Alonso is continuing that legacy, he continues with a similar work scheme, keeping certain traditions, which favored the players’ adaptation to change. That’s why we see the good results» praises the former left-back, believing in the same heroes of other wars. Cavani sentenced Portugal in 2018…
“I hope it’s Cavani and Suarez to make the difference”
“We still have Louis [Suárez] and Ed [Cavani] and I’m counting on them to make the difference. It is true that Portugal still has Cristiano and Pepe among the world’s elite and several high-level players», reflects Álvaro Pereira, pushing for a scintillating destination in Qatar.
«We have been taking a very interesting position in the World Cups since 2010. People are used to seeing Uruguay in the final stages with good performances and, hopefully, they have the opportunity here, the possibility of going very far in this edition. That things happen to our side… », he explains.