YEKATERINBURG, Russia: Uruguay captain Diego Godin bristled at the suggestion that his team might resort to a physical approach to neutralise Egypt forward Mohamed Salah on his return from a shoulder injury in their World Cup opener on Friday.
Godin appeared offended by a question from a reporter who asked whether they would repeat what Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos did to Liverpool’s Salah in last month’s Champions League final.
"That is a very inopportune question," Godin responded, evidently irritated by the implication that Uruguay might attempt to inflict the sort of injury on Egypt’s premier striker that had materialised from the Ramos clash.
"I don’t think it’s pertinent. I don’t think anyone has bad will or tries to deliberately injure a player. These things happen in football unfortunately."
Salah injured shoulder ligaments in the collision with Ramos in Kiev, which led to the Egypt international leaving the pitch in tears in the first half. The 25-year-old has been declared fit to play a part in Friday’s match.
"Salah is decisive but our preparation does not depend on the status of one player," defender Godin added.
"We’ve been preparing for a long time and are focused. We’ve thought about what we have to do and have taken precautions."
Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez echoed his captain’s views.
"We have played against the likes of Messi, Neymar and others. If Salah plays we will just have to control his many strengths," the 71-year-old coach said.
"I would be happy if Salah could play. In a dream match, for him to suffer that injury is sad.
"I don’t know about his recovery as it was in the United Kingdom. It’s a private matter. We haven’t planned a strategy whether he is on the pitch or not."
(Editing by Ian Chadband)