Q & A: Uruguay coach Victor Pua
Posted: Tuesday April 23, 2002 7:07 PM
do you think of the draw?
It's going to be hard, but you can't choose your opponents. Everyone
knows France, Denmark did very well in qualification, and we won't
be underestimating Senegal, who have some excellent players, many
of them based in France.
stepped up from assistant after the shock resignation of Daniel
Passarella. What was your reaction to that?
I really didn't expect Daniel to resign. I have a lot of respect
for his decision. I hold him in high regard because he treated me
very well, and I consider him a friend.
were the last team to book your finals place. Did you expect to
have to go through the playoff against Australia?
At one point I thought we might go through directly, but the defeat
by Venezuela put us in a difficult position. The important thing
is that we qualified.
are the strengths of your team?
During qualification, Uruguay always did well when it mattered,
in the key games. I see the side as solid at the back and in midfield.
If we score goals or not, it's a case of whether our gunpowder is
wet or dry on the day.
do you need to improve?
There are always things to be improved. We have a good base, but
we need to combine precision with velocity in order to surprise
the opposition and create chances.
it a problem for you that you have so many players abroad?
The fact that they are with some of the biggest teams in the world
is exactly because they're such good players. The Uruguayan public
would obviously prefer them to stay to be able to enjoy watching
them every week. But the economic differences and the power of these
teams make it inevitable that they get transferred.
have a very young squad. Do you think your side lack experience?
Uruguayan football is in a moment of transition. A new generation
is coming through, and the youngsters have done very well. But we
have a blend, because the youngsters have the support of four or
five more experienced players.
have not reached the World Cup finals since 1990. How do you think
this year's tournament will be different from the qualification
One big difference is the fact that in the World Cup you don't have
all the stress of either being the home team or the visitors. Now
we're on neutral ground, and I'm sure it will be a great football
From World Soccer magazine.