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Forlan says Uruguayans on right track
Published : 23 Jul 2011 03:01:18
Uruguay star Diego Forlan says he is champing at the bit ahead of Sunday's Copa America final against Paraguay.
"I'm very happy to have got this far - it's my first final with the international team," said the veteran forward who was voted the player of the tournament at the last World Cup, where the Charruas reached the semi-finals.
Forlan won the Golden Ball as that tournament's best player and scored five times - but he has yet to open his account at this Copa. The nearest he came was when he had a vicious shot saved in the semi-final win over Peru as Luis Suarez drove in the rebound.
But the former Manchester United star is not worried that he has yet to find the net.
"I am calm - we are on the right track. I have had a few that have not gone in but the team has reached its objective and that is what is important," he told reporters Friday.
Forlan says the squad is continuing to flourish under coach Oscar Tabarez, who has been in charge five years.
"People are happy because the group is a good one - going beyond just results."
Forland says the last thing that Uruguay will do is fall victim to believing in their status as most observers' favourites.
"It will be very tough against Paraguay - a complicated game, just like all the other ones we have played here," insists the Atletico Madrid man.
But "to win a title is very important - a victory would be sensational for us."
It would also constitute a record 15th triumph at the event, beating the record the Uruguayans currently share with their quarter-final victims Argentina.
Asked if Uruguay should now be seen as flagbearers for South America going into the next World Cup, having outperformed both Argentina and Brazil here, Forlan says that would be premature.
"No, Argentina and Brazil are both two powers in the game, even if they weren't quite on their game at the last World Cup or here. That does not mean they are below our level - they remain strong and have great players."