The Uruguayan Football Association (AUF) announced this afternoon the departure of coach Óscar Tabárez from the command of his national team after 15 years commanding the position.
After another subpar round of FIFA World Cup qualifying, fixtures have put Uruguay in danger of missing the 2022 FIFA World Cup. If the qualification rounds came to an end today, La Celeste would miss the tournament as they’re currently in seventh place.
As a result, the AUF needed to make a change at the managerial position, even if it’s a tough one considering what Tabárez meant to players such as Atlético Madrid striker Luis Suárez.
On Instagram, the 34-year-old left a heartfelt message to the Uruguayan tactician, who has been the only national team manager Suárez has known while playing for Uruguay.
“Thank you for making the national team identify itself in values, effort, humility, and work,” Suárez wrote. “Eternal thanks to you for teaching me to improve every time I saw you because you always have things to improve, and that is how you let me know, and that’s why I will always be thankful for all of you.”
“It is not a farewell; it is just a thank you for everything you have given to our football and our team from Uruguay! Eternally grateful teacher and technical body.”
It’s a tough decision that needed to be made for Uruguay to try and salvage any chance it has to qualify for Qatar next season. Uruguay only has four matches left in the qualifying matches as it fights for its life to make a fourth straight World Cup.