MONTEVIDEO (XINHUA) – Luis Suarez said on Monday that Uruguay has the depth to cover the absence of Edinson Cavani in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Ecuador.
Cavani was left out of the Celeste squad by head coach Oscar Tabarez, paying the price for having not played since March.
“The absence of an important player like Cavani will always be felt but we have to be aware that we have players who are at a very good level in Europe. I’m sure that they will show the manager that they are ready,” Suarez said upon his arrival at Montevideo’s Carrasco international airport late on Monday.
Cavani parted ways with Paris Saint-Germain in June and was without a club until Monday, when he signed with Manchester United. Tabarez told reporters earlier on Monday that the 33-year-old’s absence was circumstantial, suggesting he would return to the national team when match fit.
With Cavani out, Uruguay will rely on Suarez to lead the attack, with the possible help of Girona’s Cristian Stuani, Valencia’s Maxi Gomez and Benfica forward Darwin Nunez.
Suarez said he was ready for the clashes against Chile in Montevideo on October 8 and Ecuador in Quito five days later.
“It’s always exciting to play a qualifying round,” said Suarez, who joined Atletico Madrid from their La Liga rivals Barcelona last month.
“Chile is always a very difficult opponent. Every time a new qualifying tournament begins there are different expectations. I’m seeing some new faces and also a few old ones. There are several players that have already had a lot of international experience,” he added.