Former Uruguay football star Diego Forlan has said that the country's football team is ready to make a deep run at the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer.
For Uruguay, "the important thing is to get out of the group, which is the hardest part. Sometimes you start off by losing your first game, which is what happened to us in Brazil, and then you have to win to stay in the competition. There are no easy opponents but Uruguay have got a good enough team to mix it with the big boys," Forlan said in an interview with fifa.com.
The 38-year-old forward said Brazil and Germany were the favourites to win the World Cup, but "most of the players who know or have come up against Uruguayans prefer to avoid us. That's plain to see. Uruguay are a very awkward side and no one likes to play against us, which is a lovely feeling", reports Efe.
Forlan said he did not miss playing for the national team. "Retiring from international football was a personal decision, and I was very sure about what I was doing. I played for my country for more than 10 years and there were highs and lows.
"It was a fantastic experience, though, and the most wonderful thing is that it ended well. If it hadn't, then I might be sitting here saying how much I'd love to come out of retirement," added Forlan, who played a big part in Uruguay's third-place finish at the 2010 World Cup.
He said his best memories of international competition were from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. "On a team level, I'd have to pick the win against Ghana in South Africa (in the quarter-finals). It was a game we almost lost but ended up winning on penalties, amazingly. And on a personal note, I'd have to go for the end of that World Cup, when I won the Golden Ball as the player of the tournament and finished among the highest scorers," Forlan said.
Forlan, who has been an outstanding performer for clubs in Argentina, England and Spain, is a two-time recipient of the Golden Boot as the top scorer in European league play and was voted the best player at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.