Uruguayan star Federico Valverde expressed his joy at the victory over Argentina (2-0) at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires in the fifth round of South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup.
Valverde stated that he and his teammates tried to be "as respectful as possible" towards the opponents, referring to the accusation made by Argentina's captain Lionel Messi regarding the behavior of Uruguayan players, especially the younger ones.
The Real Madrid midfielder added, "This is the situation in South America; in the end, we play every game as if it were the only game."
Messi commented after the match, saying, "I prefer not to say what I think, but these young players have to learn from the seniors because these classic matches have always been intense but with respect."
The game witnessed several personal confrontations in the first half after a foul on striker Nicolas Gonzalez, leading to a visible altercation involving an angry Inter Miami player.
Uruguay's coach Marcelo Bielsa commented, "We defeated the unforgettable world champion Argentina, but that does not diminish their achievements."
He explained, "The match was not defined tactically; we defended a lot. By regaining the ball, we managed to create moments of good football sufficient to score."
Uruguay's victory over Argentina comes after a similar result against Brazil in the previous round, making "La Celeste" the first team in history to win against both Argentina and Brazil in the same qualifiers.
Bielsa emphasized that matches against top rivals sometimes make people forget where the team comes from, creating illusions that do not always align with reality.
"The next match always erases the effects of the previous encounter, and the demand for victories is renewed," said Bielsa, considering the victory "fair" and expressing extreme satisfaction with his team's defensive approach and ball retention, enabling them to attack well afterward.