Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez fears his side will struggle to stop Lionel Messi if he finds his best form in the Copa America quarter-finals.Tabarez believes that if Messi can repeat his match-winning performance from Argentina’s 3-0 group-stage win over Costa Rica, there will be little that Uruguay can do to defend against him.
The two countries meet for the first time since 2009 in Santa Fe on Saturday, with both hoping to progress to the last four and continue their pursuit of a 15th Copa America crown.
The pair finished the group stage with identical records, picking up five points from the opening games to take the runners-up spots in their respective groups.
But Barcelona phenomenon Messi will be the difference between the sides if he is at his devestating best over the weekend, Tabarez says.
“He is going to cause trouble for us. That, as much as we want it to, will never disappear,” the coach admitted to reporters.
“There is a saying: ‘if you have a problem and the solution, why worry? And if you have a problem but not the solution, again why worry?’.”
Tabarez also affirmed that he has not chosen the 11 men who will be entrusted with downing Argentina on home soil.
“We still have to define some things. We have spoken with the players, but nothing is decided. Normally if I know the team I will play, I announce it quickly. This time, that is not the case,” the Celeste chief explained.