Real Madrid are reportedly keen to sign either ‘El Pistolero’ Luis Suarez from Liverpool or ‘El Matador’ Edinson Cavani from Napoli.
And so the Spanish club’s scouts will have paid close attention to Uruguay’s Confederations Cup defeat against Brazil last night.
Suarez went into the match with a perfect record of three goals from three shots on target in the competition so far.
Cavani meanwhile, was yet to score, but had been a constant menace in Uruguay’s much vaunted attack.
For both players, last night’s game was another opportunity to endear themselves to their high-profile and minted suitors. But which Uruguayan hot shot shone brightest in the riot smoke that hung over the Mineirao?
For most of the game, Uruguay were on the back foot, and Cavani often appeared as an auxiliary centre-back.
He tracked back admirably, and was frequently on hand to make timely interceptions and last-ditch tackles, after Brazil’s sprightly attack had broken through Uruguay’s battle weary defensive cordon.
Cavani then popped up to give Uruguay hope, pouncing on Thiago Silva’s uncharacteristically sloppy defending to score his team’s equaliser with a smart finish in a crowded box.
It was a bustling box-to-box performance from the 26-year-old striker Napoli are loath to lose. And even though he was lucky not to get sent off for a series of meaty challenges, Cavani left the field in defeat with his head held high.
Suarez on the other hand, was unusually quiet for most of the game.
His customary jinking runs, dribbles and nutmegs were nowhere to be seen, as Brazil succeeded to marshal him like no other team in the Confederations Cup had managed.
He was most evident when expressing his distaste following Diego Forlan’s well-saved early penalty, and when pleading with the referee for desperate free-kicks as the match escaped from Uruguay.
Seasoned Suarez watchers may also have begun to fear the worst: when denied the chance to express his destructive football talents, it always seems possible that Suarez might do something to disgrace himself, embarrass his team, and tarnish the beautiful game in general.
As it happened, Suarez was able to shackle his inner demons, even though his inner genius was nowhere to be seen.
It may have been a losing effort from Uruguay’s two best players, but they both clearly have the talent to shine on the highest stage, and it will intriguing to see which one Los Blancos plump for.
By: Jared Chaitowitz
Follow Jared on Twitter: @JaredSLinter