The ‘Zorro’ licks his wounds

By Juan Jose Lahuerta

If there is a player disappointed by not having entered the final squad for Uruguay to play in the World Cup in Qatar, that is none other than Damián Suárez. At 34 years old, Getafe’s incombustible right-back has been left on the edge of playing a World Cup. Probably, it was his last chance and it has escaped him in his last breath.

Never before was Damián so close to playing a great tournament with his team. Throughout his twelve-year career in Europe (one season at Sporting, three at Elche and seven and a half at Getafe), he only began to enter his country’s plans in his most veteran stage.

In fact, until January 27, 2022, Damián was unable to debut with the Uruguayan team. Although he was cited by maestro Óscar Washington Tabarez, he did not make his debut until Diego Alonso’s arrival on the bench. He did it against Paraguay in a qualifying match for the World Cup in Qatar. Since then, he has accumulated three other World Cup qualifying matches (Venezuela, Peru and Chile) and participated in three friendlies (Mexico, Panama and Iran) in which he started.

In those last matches, he performed at a good level. Diego Alonso could not put a ‘but’ to a player who managed to accumulate 93 and 95 percent successful passes against Mexico and Panama, respectively, and who showed his ability to touch the bottom line with seven successful centers . In addition, he came to win up to 80 percent of his personal duels in matches like Iran.

With his performance, he earned a place in the shortlist of the 55 shortlisted. There was also his teammate Mauro Arambarri, who will not go to the World Cup either. An injury that will keep him away from the pitch for a few months will prevent him from doing so. The times in which Damián, Arambarri and Mathías Olivera (now in Naples) went together from Getafe to the calls of the selection, have ended.


But why did Damián Suárez drop out of Diego Alonso’s final call-up? The truth is that the Getafe right-back has had no luck with injuries. This season, he has suffered two and, the first, forced him to start a little later than the rest of his teammates. He was out between August 15 and September 4 due to a hamstring injury that prevented him from playing in the league matches that his team played against Atlético, Girona and Villarreal.

Later, after his recovery, he was ready for matchday four, although his coach, Quique Sánchez Flores, preferred to keep him on the bench against Valencia. He reappeared in the fifth, against Real Sociedad, and accumulated two consecutive games. Then, Diego Alonso did not hesitate to call him for the friendlies against Iran in Canada. He was a starter in the first and a substitute in the second.


Damián returned from international matches in top form. Quique Sánchez Flores did not hesitate to give continuity in his eleven to the Uruguayan defender, who played 360 consecutive minutes against Valladolid, Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano and Athletic. So, Getafe only had four more games left before the World Cup. Everything seemed to go smoothly for Damián.

However, some physical discomfort kept him from the clash against Celta. He reappeared to play nine minutes on October 31 against Elche and watched the matches against Cádiz and Almería from the bench despite apparently being 100% recovered. Then the pitcher of cold water arrived. Damián did not enter Diego Alonso’s final call-up and the main cause was the absence of minutes in his club in recent games.

However, some of those mentioned by Alonso, have not enjoyed many minutes this season and even, like Damián, have just come out of an injury. For example, Godín, who although he did play the last two games with Vélez, did not play a minute between August 11 and October 23 due to injury.

Matías Viña, in Roma, like Damián, has been a substitute in the last two games. And, in total, he has accumulated 299 minutes this season compared to Damián’s 550. Ronald Araújo himself has not played football for a minute since September 23, when he played four with Uruguay. Or Facundo Pellistri, substitute in the worst United in recent times throughout the season. He has not played anything this course.


All of them will be in Qatar, but Damien will not. And, it was her wife, Fabiana Artigas, who was in charge of defending Damián through a message on her personal Instagram account: «May this blow be to lift you up stronger. Because nothing and no one can make you doubt your professionalism. You never needed or depended on the support of the press, basically because you didn’t come out of a “big” picture. Just as you did not depend on the accommodation of any representative. The 12 years that keep you in Europe is only based on a lot of work and sacrifice,” Artigas wrote.

«Now it hurts, but the measuring rule they used for you hurts more. But don’t worry, if life knocks you down ten times more, I’ll be here to lift you up. We love you,” she concluded.

Now, Damián has to lick his wounds and watch the World Cup from his home. The ‘Zorro’ has been left without a prize that many consider deserved after 12 years in Europe performing at a high level. Perhaps the problem is that his teams were called Sporting, Elche or Getafe. If they had been called Roma or Manchester United, perhaps the story would now be different. (EFE)

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The ‘Zorro’ licks his wounds

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