BRAZIL goalkeeper Julio Cesar has warned his team-mates to be especially wary of Uruguay’s strikers during tonight’s Confederations Cup semi-final.
The Selecao meet the Celeste in Belo Horizonte for a place in the final and QPR goalkeeper Cesar is determined to help his side get over the line. He does realise, however, that it will be no easy feat as Uruguay have a potent strikeforce that includes the likes of Edinson Cavani, Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez. “Those three are very powerful forwards. Individually, they can decide a game,” Cesar said. “I know all of them very well and we must pay attention because any lapse in concentration could see them decide the game. This match is even worse than an Argentina-Brazil derby. There is no favourite to win.”
Cesar, back in the national team after more than two years away, praised Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari for the impact he has had on his recent career. He added: “I thought of giving up playing after the World Cup, but the moment passed.
“I looked for support from my family to help me go on working. The pressure of being a goalkeeper is similar that of being a president.”
Liverpool striker Suarez, who has scored three goals for Uruguay in the tournament so far, said: “I think Brazil are showing the power they’ve lacked in recent years. Their form was not good and that was not good for international football. Some national teams did not respect them in the same way because of big changes, even coaching changes, that they’d made. They had ups and downs. But now Brazil are earning respect once again. They are the Brazil we used to know and they have a great coach and a great star in Neymar.”
Ahead of tonight’s match, Suarez expanded on how much the game means to Uruguay. “Any football player would love playing a match between Brazil and Uruguay,” he said. “I have already experienced it during the 2010 World Cup qualifiers and it will always motivate you. But we also know that neither Brazil nor Uruguay are the same teams they were. Both sides have talent out on the pitch and it’ll be a very good match. If you want to win any tournament, you need to beat any rival ahead of you.”