Brazil goalkeeper Alves rebuts Suarez remarks

Rio de Janeiro, March 24 (IANS) Brazil goalkeeper Diego Alves has rejected claims by Uruguay striker Luis Suarez that they are vulnerable in defence ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Friday.

And the Valencia stopper on Wednesday said the Selecao had also identified weaknesses in Uruguay’s team ahead of the match at Pernambuco Arena in Brazil’s northeastern city of Recife, reports Xinhua.

“In the same way that they see weaknesses in our team, we can also identify weaknesses in theirs,” Alves said during a press conference on Wednesday.

“We have to believe in ourselves. Our players represent some of the best clubs in Europe so we’re not going to be influenced by his personal opinion.”

Suarez told reporters on Tuesday that Brazil had “defensive weakness that we will try to take advantage of”.

The Barcelona forward will be playing his first international fixture since being banned for nine matches for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the 2014 World Cup.

Alves said he and his teammates were wary of the threat posed by the 29-year-old.

“We know the quality of Luis Suarez. We have to watch him because he is in spectacular form,” Alves said. “But they also have Edinson Cavani, who is a great player too.”

Alves is in the Brazil squad for the first time since November 2014, having fully recovered from a serious knee injury.

He will be vying with Internacional goalkeeper Allison Becker for a place in the starting lineup on Friday.

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