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Why did Valverde take a penalty kick with Uruguay and refuse with Real?


Uruguay beat Brazil 4-2 on penalties to advance to the semi-finals of the Copa America For the first time since 2011, the last time they also won the tournament, they will set up a date with Colombia.

Uruguay and Brazil have faced each other 27 times in the Copa America, and with today’s draw in regular time, the numbers are exactly equal: nine wins each, nine draws.

The match expressed the philosophy of Uruguay under coach Marcelo Bielsa, a violent physical struggle and few chances in a tense match that witnessed 41 fouls, making it the worst in the tournament in this aspect so far, with Nahitan Nandez receiving a red card.

Uruguay committed 26 of those fouls, their highest total in a Copa America match since the start of the 2015 tournament.

Bielsa’s style imposes itself

The high stakes, the heightened tension and the intense desire not to lose were all reasons for that, but playing against a team managed by Bielsa makes it a completely different matter.

Bielsa’s players don’t just press as much as they harass the opponent, in groups of two, three or four. And with the intensity of the match, it came out with this number of mistakes.

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The 68-year-old Bielsa is known for his attacking ideas, aggressive and strong man-to-man pressing, and always looks to apply maximum pressure to win the ball close to the opposition goal.

Because of this pressure, Brazil goalkeeper Alisson resorted to playing long balls to the attacking line, without trying to build from the back, as the whole process seemed risky, so it was no coincidence that Brazil’s best chances came from disorganized attacks; there was no sense that they were building attacks in any organized way.

Brazil looked like a team waiting for something to happen “just by chance”. Even when Uruguay were down to ten men, there was no real sense that the Selecao were starting to change their trajectory on long balls for fear of losing them to the opposition’s pressure.

To confirm this fact regarding the Sky Blues’ terror in pressing, we mention that no team in the Copa America recovered the ball in the attacking third more than Uruguay (23), nor did any team commit more fouls in the same area of ​​the pitch (also 23).

Valverde is different in Uruguay

“Uruguay is not beautiful but it is brave. We never stop fighting.” This is their famous chant in the team’s stands, but there is a special talk from the team’s star midfielder Fede Valverde Who gave one of the great matches in front of the Brazilian midfield, ate the green and dry and enjoyed high energy.

Valverde with Bielsa shows 100% of his energy, even in penalty kicks the player has changed and now takes responsibility.

The player did not take a penalty for Real Madrid against Manchester City in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final earlier this year because he told assistant coach David Ancelotti that he was tired.

The Uruguayan star later admitted that in addition to the fatigue “he talked about”, he did not feel psychologically prepared to take the penalty kick with real madridand that he would work from then on to get rid of this thing.

But what did he do with Uruguay against Brazil? It’s different, he was the one who stepped up to take the first penalty kick in the penalty shootout, and he looked very confident when he put the ball in the net, which shows the difference, spirit and character he has with Bielsa.



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