Uruguay captain Godin ready for ‘biggest World Cup’ of career

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Montevideo, May 8 (IANS) Uruguay captain Diego Godin is expecting the “biggest World Cup” of his career when football’s flagship tournament kicks off in Russia next month.

The 32-year-old Atletico Madrid central defender will take part in his third World Cup and says he has never felt better leading into a major tournament, reports Xinhua news agency.

“On a personal level, this will be my biggest World Cup due to my experience, my age, my form and my maturity,” Godin told Uruguayan radio station Rincon on Monday. “That’s why I want to enjoy it as much as possible and try to win it.”

Since making his debut in 2005, Godin has appeared in 116 football games for his national team.

His fellow national teammates, key attackers Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are 31-year-olds and this could be the best time for the trio to win the World cup.

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Uruguay will begin their World Cup campaign against Egypt on June 15 and will also meet Saudi Arabia and Russia in the group stage.

Uruguay will enter the tournament high on confidence, having finished second behind Brazil in South America’s gruelling two-year World Cup qualifying tournament last October.

The two-time World Cup champions also won the China Cup in March by defeating Wales 1-0 in the final.

Godin lavished praise on national coach Oscar Tabarez, who took charge of the side after their failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Four years later in South Africa, he led the team to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time in 40 years and in 2011 the Celeste won the Copa America as hosts.

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When asked if he imagined the national team without 71-year-old Tabarez in the dugout, Godin replied: “I honestly can’t. I don’t think anybody can. He has given us so much and we are so grateful. We feel that he still has plenty to give us.”

–IANS

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