“Suárez, it is Mick Jagger in Uruguay” / Uruguay / Nationwide / SOFOOT.com

Montevideo had been set on fireplace final Sunday to rejoice Luis Suárez’s shifting return to Nacional, his debut membership. As a welcome, Argentinian striker Emmanuel Gigliotti provided his quantity 9 to a tearful gunslinger. Two days later, they shared a couple of minutes collectively on the pitch through the 0-1 defeat in opposition to Brazilians Goianiense within the first leg of the quarter-finals of Copa Sudamericana. Nicknamed “el Puma”, the previous Boca Juniors and Independiente striker talks concerning the insanity that has gripped the Uruguayan capital and analyzes the native soccer that ought to put together “Lucho” for his final World Cup.


You might be fortunate to have skilled all the pieces from the within. How was Suarez’s return to Montevideo?
It was a revolution. The earlier weeks, he was already fully insane. When Luis introduced that Nacional had not contacted him and the president mentioned he would name him, our workforce started to be noticed everywhere in the world. It was unimaginable to see a participant of Luis’ stature come to Nacional. In South America, in case you take away Brazil with its stage of competitiveness and its financial energy able to attracting guys like Vidal, David Luiz and Felipe Luis, it’s uncommon to see gamers of this caliber in Argentina or Uruguay. Think about the delirium in a small nation like that of seeing the return of a striker who performed for the most effective Barca in historical past. We’re speaking a few man who’s within the prime three or 5 quantity 9 of the final fifteen years.

“I had by no means seen such a factor. It have to be the primary time on this planet of soccer. They talked about it on a regular basis. The worst half is that it satisfied him to return!”

Actually … Did you consider it when it arrived?
With the opposite gamers within the squad we had been hoping for it however we did not consider it very a lot. Like everybody in actuality. I’ve many mates who saved emailing me for info. Every week earlier, Luis had mentioned no to River Plate, simply knocked out of the Copa Libertadores. We’re speaking about an excellent membership on the continent coached by a revered coach like Gallardo. We didn’t think about it could come after this refusal. However once we began to see the unimaginable mobilization of Nacional supporters on social networks, we began to consider it. I had by no means seen such a factor. It have to be the primary time on this planet of soccer. They talked about it on a regular basis. The worst half is that she satisfied him to return!

When the switch was formalized, how did you react to one another?
Aside from goalkeeper Sergio Rochet who performs with Luis within the choice, none of us had ever been in a workforce with a participant of this stage. We had been wanting ahead to it. There was plenty of pleasure and pleasure, particularly for the blokes on the membership. For all of us, sharing a dressing room or being on the pitch with him is one thing unimaginable. You watch it on a regular basis. What are you doing ? What does not it do? What’s he saying ? What does not it say? What can we inform him ?! No one desires to be ridiculous in entrance of Luis (snicker). What we dwell may be very robust.

“For me it’s an honor. I gave him the jersey on the presentation on the stadium in entrance of 25,000 spectators. I had by no means spoken in entrance of so many individuals!”

Nice sir, you gave him your quantity 9 … Did you actually have a alternative?
No one requested me something on the membership. It appeared pure to offer my quantity to Luis. Once we heard he was coming, I went to the stewards to ask them:Boys ! Is there one other quantity obtainable for me? 9 is for Luis“. The president thanked me. For me it’s an honor. I gave him the shirt on the presentation on the stadium in entrance of 25,000 spectators. I hadn’t ready something, however Sebastián “El Loco” Abreu, who hosted the occasion, requested me to say a number of phrases. I had by no means spoken in entrance of so many individuals! Folks had been very moved within the stands. For them, Luis is like seeing Mick Jagger. It additionally comes at a time when the workforce is taking part in properly. Regardless that we missed the primary leg of the Copa Sudamericana quarter-finals on Tuesday, we will qualify for the return leg subsequent week. It has been greater than thirty years since a Uruguayan membership received a continental trophy. We are going to do all the pieces to get there. With Luis we are going to acquire in high quality. Hope we will make the most of it.

You shared a couple of minutes with him on the pitch through the first leg in opposition to Atlético Clube Goianiense (0-1). It was quick however what was it like?
We had been shedding, so I used to be completely hooked on the sport. I did not discover it instantly. After I obtained house, I obtained tons of messages from mates: “Do you understand that you’ve got performed with Suárez?” or “Man, you probably did one-two with Lucho!“. There, you come again together with your toes on the bottom and say to your self: “Okay, that is insanity”. We should make the most of it and be taught as a lot as doable alongside him. Whether or not it is the boy of twenty or me with the identical age as Luis. It doesn’t matter. To this point we’ve solely educated collectively as soon as. On the pitch we’ve already seen on sure touches of the ball, on sure actions that he was a special participant. Now it’s he who should get used to the truth that we aren’t gamers with whom he usually performs! (Snort).

“In these circumstances, gamers like Valverde, Cavani, Suárez, Nuñez have managed to emerge. What’s going to occur sooner or later when there may be higher infrastructure?”

How a lot is the Uruguayan championship value?
Right here it sounds a bit like ten years in the past in Argentina. I am speaking about earlier than the arrival of coaches like Ricardo Gareca or Tata Martino who satisfied us that it was doable to play in another way and never simply with a warrior’s recreation. Right here stays a soccer the place there may be plenty of friction. There’s plenty of strain like in Argentine soccer. The camps usually are not preferrred and I’m not speaking about coaching facilities. Whenever you wish to enhance the best way you play, it is problematic. However once you see the uncooked materials right here, you inform your self that this nation may be very removed from giving all the pieces it might. In these circumstances, gamers comparable to Valverde, Cavani, Suárez, Nuñez managed to emerge. What’s going to it’s like sooner or later when there may be higher infrastructure? There’s a lot to do. They’ve 10% of the Argentine inhabitants however a formidable quantity of gifted footballers.

How would you outline membership Nacional?

The followers are all the time lively. They encourage you as quickly as you meet them on the road. Whenever you see what they did for Luis’s arrival, you get an thought. It’s a nice membership. For me it is likely one of the largest on the continent. The establishment has been world champion thrice in its historical past. We have to recuperate previous glory. It takes time, however I consider we’ve leaders who can assist this progress.

In your profession you may have performed nice classics comparable to Boca Juniors – River Plate or Independiente – Racing. The rivalry between Nacional and Peñarol, the place do you place it?
The nation may be very small. All the pieces is so tight that the rivalry is skilled on a stage of madness as may be had in a traditional in Rosario Argentina between Central and Newell’s Outdated Boys. Just about half of Uruguay comes from Peñarol and the opposite half from Nacional. The folks and particularly the gamers stay fanatics of their membership over time. When the championship begins, the 2 establishments look above all to the date of the clásico. The subsequent is on the finish of the month. Whenever you meet the followers on the road, they do not let you know they wish to be champions. They repeat to you:Win the traditional!“. It’s a stunning insanity.

“Right here he’s at house. He feels good. For me the emotional dimension and the entire psychological dimension is a very powerful. The World Cup is in a number of months. If there have been nonetheless two years, it could be completely different.”.

We nonetheless marvel if Suárez will have the ability to put together for his final World Cup taking part in in Uruguay. What do you assume ?
I feel that gamers of his caliber, having performed in a number of World Cups and performed in massive golf equipment, do most of their preparation in coaching. These are guys who’ve a flawless life-style off the pitch. Luis lately needed to deal with his knee. He’ll step by step regain all of his talents. Right here he’s at house. He feels good. For me, the emotional dimension and the entire psychological dimension is a very powerful. The World Cup is in a number of months. If that they had stayed there for 2 years, it could be completely different.

In any other case … Is the Lucho good?
I had by no means seen him in my life. Our first time might be perpetually in a stadium with a microphone in entrance of 25,000 folks and the entire world watching. It was uncommon and unbelievable. I hope the entire world noticed how assured I used to be with my speech (snicker). Truly, Luis is nice. I hope he’ll encourage different nice South American gamers to return again right here.

Interview by Georges Quirino Chaves

Leave a Comment