Mexico City, June 22 (IANS) Chilean national team midfielder Charles Aranguiz has described Copa America challenger Uruguay as a “respected” rival.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Aranguiz said “history has proven Uruguay is always a respected rival. Now we are training hard, we are not surprised by their game, but we have to prepare well and play a good match Wednesday”.
The two teams play each other June 24 in the first of the Copa’s quarterfinals at Santiago’s Nacional Stadium, reported Xinhua.
Aranguiz sounded confident, saying the Chilean squad “has gone from less to more, just as in the (2014 Brazil) World Cup. Now Uruguay is in a different shape, but it is Uruguay, so it’ll always have our respect”.
Aranguiz, who plays for Portuguese team Internacional de Porto Alegre, warned Chile has to stay focused throughout the tournament, given that it lost its last friendly against Uruguay (1-2), at Santiago’s Monumental Stadium.
“We have the experience of the last game, where we played much better at the Monumental, but they scored two goals,” recalled Aranguiz.
“They stay focused until the last second and if you let your guard down, they can score a goal,” he said.
Asked about Chile’s chances of making it to the finals, the midfielder said “it would be a dream come true to play the final game … but first there’s Uruguay and we’re going to think about that only”.