Q&A with Cristian Rodríguez

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Cebolla (Cristian’s nickname is Spanish for Onion) tell us, when was the last time you made an opponent cry?

I honestly don’t remember. Maybe for something the press said, which made him cry in defence. But I honestly don’t remember.

We’ve read an interesting story about you riding 170km to the chapel in San Cono in Uruguay after the team beat Jordan to qualify for Brazil. How did this come about?

It was a promise I made during the qualifiers, that if we were to make it to the World Cup I was going to ride those kilometres to the San Cono chapel (Uruguay) on horseback. It was a promise I had to keep. It was 12 hours on horseback under pretty tough conditions because it was hot, but it was an unforgettable experience that will hopefully be repeated.

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What was the journey  easier or harder than playing international football?

It’s harder because it is 12 hours on horseback in 35°C heat and yes, because it was in December and that’s summer in Uruguay. But it was honestly worth it and arriving to the chapel, which is where I had made the promise, was beautiful.

What are the chances of Uruguay making it past the group stage, by overcoming strong opponents like England and Italy?

It’s the toughest group in the World Cup for me, because there are three champions in our group: England, Uruguay and Italy, as well as Costa Rica who are playing really well and are used to the heat.

Your being able to play both attacking and defensive roles is impressive. Which role do you prefer?

I play differently with the national team than I do at club level. At club level I play more forward, while with the national team I play more as a defender. This is always changing, because tactics change during the match and at times I play more as a defender and then all of a sudden I’m more open in front. I feel comfortable with both. There’s no difference.

PUMA has just launched the home and away kits for the Uruguay team. What do you think of the design and the ACTV technology in it?

I’ve never played in this style of shirt, but it won’t be a big deal because the quality is good.

What would you prefer: Winning against Brazil in the World Cup final or winning the Spanish league over Barcelona and Real Madrid?

Definitely winning the World Cup. Because the World Cup is something special and La Liga is played here every year; a World Cup is totally different.

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