Uruguay head coach Diego Alonso believes his Real Madrid star Federico Valverde is best suited as a defensive midfielder, but that the team will need to perform better as a whole to allow him to “shine more”.
Alonso’s comments came after Monday’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Portugal, leaving Uruguay alongside Mexico and Tunisia as the only teams without a goal through two matches.
Following their failure to score in their 0-0 opener against South Korea, Uruguay were well-handled by the Portuguese, controlling only 40 per cent of the possession, although they only narrowly trailed in expected goals 1.33 to 1.27.
Not short on talent, Uruguay fielded a starting XI that included Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez and 135-cap veteran Edinson Cavani up front, while Tottenham’s Rodrigo Betancur partnered Valverde in midfield.
Having played both in central midfield and on the wing for Madrid, Valverde was deployed in the engine room against Portugal,