France blasts Uruguay, advances to semis

Uruguay's midfielder Matias Vecino and Uruguay's forward Luis Suarez attend a training session at the Sport Centre Borsky in Nizhny Novgorod

On Friday, they face France in the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

Cavani, who scored both goals as Uruguay defeat Portugal 2-1 in the last 16 and has three in total for the tournament, remains a fitness doubt.

Suarez was less convinced by recent claims that Griezmann was half-Uruguayan because he plays with Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez at Atletico Madrid, drinks mate tea and even turned up at the airport wearing a Uruguay shirt to greet his teammates when they qualified for Russian Federation.

When he moved to Atletico, he befriended more Uruguayans: Cristian Rodriguez, then Gimenez, Godin and fitness coach Oscar Ortega.

"It's going to be a great game to play in and a really emotional experience too".

"I have to apologise to all the people in Uruguay and my teammates". "It could be a very special match for him".

Once the emotions settle, Uruguay have some serious work to groom a new generation, given mainstays like captain Diego Godin and strikers Cavani and Suarez are now all in their early 30s.

Griezmann may not be connected to Uruguay through his immediate family, but all throughout his footballing career, he's had support from a number of Uruguayan coaches and players. "We all make mistakes", Godin said.

"He has always been surrounded by Uruguayan players".

At Atletico, Griezmann is the star and top scorer. "Luckily there is a World Cup every four years and this effort continues". Despite putting them out of the World Cup, Uruguayans are sure to give their French amigo a warm welcome.

"They give everything for their teammates, it's lovely", he added.

They regularly indulge in various aspects of Uruguayan culture, including traditional Uruguayan drinks - with the France star calling Uruguay his "second country" ahead of Friday's quarter final between the two countries.

France forward Kylian Mbappe, who had ripped apart Argentina in the previous round with his directness and pace, wasted a good opportunity to open the scoring in the 15th minute when Olivier Giroud headed across the box to him but the 19-year-old's looping header was off-target.

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