Diego Godin has revealed he can’t stop thinking about the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ and expressed his desire to become the first Uruguayan in 68 years to receive the Trophy.
Jules Rimet handed it to Obdulio Varela – albeit in bizarre circumstances – at the Maracana in 1950, and though La Celeste have reached the semi-finals thrice thereafter, they have never gone further, losing to Hungary in 1954, Brazil in 1970 and the Netherlands in 2010. Eight teams have shorter odds of winning Russia 2018 than Uruguay, but that doesn’t stop the Atletico Madrid centre-back fantasising.
“There isn’t a day goes by that I stop thinking about the World Cup,” Godin told Radio Rincón. “I dream of lifting the Trophy – of course I do.
“We qualified for the World Cup well. The important thing is that no-one gets injured, that everyone is right physically.”
Godin believes the secret to Uruguay’s prosperity under Oscar Tabarez – they exceeded expectations at South Africa 2010, won the Copa America 2011 and upset England 2-1 and Italy 1-0 at Brazil 2014 – has been stability and playing to their strengths, which includes feeding Luis Suarez (50 goals in 97 internationals) and Edinson Cavani (42 in 100) as soon as possible.
“The great success of this team is that, in the eight years since South Africa, we’ve maintained a consistency – in the World Cup qualifiers, in the Copa America,” said the 116-times-capped Rosario native. “There is a base of players who are still good enough to compete and, in addition, some changes have been made with the introduction of new players, youngsters, but ones who also have experience due to playing in Europe and for the youth national teams.
“But the national team never lost its stability. It has been reinvented. I always say the same thing: it’s good that the new players have been incorporated into the team. The players who have come in have different characteristics.
“Uruguay now have more ball possession, play at a higher volume. It’s good – they’re changes that have improved the team.”
“We are on the right track, because we’ve had good performances. What we always say to each other is that we cannot become lost – nobody can – about what our strengths are. That is defensive solidity, the team’s great work ethic, and quickly getting the ball to the strikers, who are the ones who win us matches now as they have done in the past. We cannot lose sight of this.”
“Personally, this can be my great World Cup – because of experience, age, my sporting moment and my maturity,” he said. “That’s why I want to enjoy it to the fullest and win.”
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