When clubs begin waxing lyrical about their players during the international break, then it’s obvious something good must have been happening.
That was the case with Manchester United after watching Edinson Cavani score in Uruguay’s 3-0 defeat of Colombia in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifiers. The striker has sparingly been used at Old Trafford but has now scored three goals in his last two games in all competitions.
Similar to Cavani, Atletico Madrid went from a club singing Luis Suarez’s praises to getting worried after their star forward tested positive for COVID-19 some days ago.
The reactions of Manchester United and Atletico Madrid, though, are a testament to the impact of both Cavani and Suarez. At 33, both are still very potent and are still being relied upon by their national team.
Over the last decade, very few strikers in the world can boast of the consistency that these two Uruguayans have kept up on the pitch. Cavani has scored goals for fun wherever he has gone, from Napoli to PSG and now Manchester United.
Suarez, on the other hand, will go down as one of the most lethal attackers ever to play in Europe following his impressive goal returns at Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona and now Atletico Madrid.
On Friday, both players demonstrated why they are still among the best by running the show for Uruguay against Colombia. Playing side-by-side in attack, Cavani opened the scoring after just five minutes.
Suarez doubled their lead for Oscar Tabarez’s side early in the second half from the penalty before Darwin Nunez sealed the result with a third goal. This is a duo that has led Uruguay back to the summit of world football.
They played a key role as Uruguay reached the semi-final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They were again instrumental as the country won the Copa America in 2011.
“They are two very dangerous forwards and we will have to be very careful,” Brazilian defender Marquinhos said ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier between Brazil and Uruguay.
“Cavani is a decisive player. He moves all over the field and is very dangerous in the area so together with Suárez he should be a constant concern for the Brazilian defense in the match.”
Indeed, Uruguay’s chances of beating Brazil rests mainly on the shoulders of Cavani and Suarez. And although the latter has been ruled out of the game due to testing positive for COVID-19, Cavani will still be a handful for Brazil's defence.
What cannot be disputed, though, is that Cavani and Suarez are still running the show for Uruguay even at the age of 33.