In celebration of Puma launching the Uruguay World Cup kit we’ve got a Q&A with Cristian Rodriguez (images at the bottom of the post).
Cebolla (Cristian’s nickname is Spanish for Onion), tell us, when was the last time you really 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 and it was a promise I had to keep, and that I was able to do. It was twelve hours on horseback under pretty tough conditions because it was hot, but it was an unforgettable experience that will hopefully be repeated.
What was the journey like, 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.
How big are the chances in your opinion that Uruguay will make it past the group stage, looking at strong opponents like England and Italy right at the start? It’s the toughest group in the World Cup for me, because there are three champions in our group: England, Uruguay and Italy, and Costa Rica as well, who are playing really well; they’re used to the heat.
In the past you have impressed through your capabilities of being able to play in both attacking and more defensive roles. Which role do you actually prefer? I play differently with the national team than I do here. Here I play more forward, on 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.
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.
PUMA has just launched the home and away kits for the Uruguay team. What do you think of the design of the new shirts 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; I have to try them and then see how it goes.
Cristian Rodriguez wears the new Uruguay World Cup kit by PUMA, available from Kitbag.com from Wednesday March 5th. For more information on PUMA’s national kit sponsorships and evoPOWER and evoSPEED boot ranges head to http://puma.com/football
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