Torreira relishes showdown with Brazil

LONDON • Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira has warned Brazil that his side plan to build on their impressive World Cup campaign by claiming a famous win over their South American rivals in a friendly match today.

Brazil are unbeaten in their last nine meetings with Uruguay, who reached the World Cup quarter-finals in Russia this year but have not beaten the five-time world champions since 2001.

La Celeste's lack of success against their neighbours has long been a source of frustration, but the chance to upset their more illustrious opponents at the Emirates Stadium ensures Torreira and his teammates will treat the clash as more than just a friendly.

It will be especially meaningful for the combative midfielder, given that the match will be played on Arsenal's home ground.

"It will be an awesome game. It's a friendly, but it's still such an important game," said the 22-year-old, who has become a mainstay in the Gunners' engine room despite arriving only in the summer from Sampdoria for £26.4 million (S$47.1 million).

Torreira's growing importance to his Premier League club and country has been reflected by his 11 caps, all of which were earned this year. He views the meeting with Brazil as a yardstick of Uruguay's progress.

"We want the result to go our way, but the important thing is that the team look good and it feels like we are continuing to grow," he said.

"We've got to maintain our calm as a product of the coaching and show the growth of the team.

"And, at this point in time, the clash with Brazil should be a great match."

Coach Oscar Tabarez should be able to call on Uruguay's star strike pair of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez for the glamorous fixture, which will also likely see Neymar line up for the opposition.

Brazil coach Tite was forced into some late changes after Philippe Coutinho, Marcelo and Casemiro withdrew from the squad through injury.

Rafinha, Renato Augusto and Alex Sandro have been called up as replacements.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2018, with the headline 'Torreira relishes showdown with Brazil'. Print Edition | Subscribe