Lugano: Teamwork was the key
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Captain Diego Lugano felt Uruguay's togetherness was key to their Copa America triumph.

La Celeste cruised to a 3-0 defeat of Paraguay in the final in Buenos Aires last night, with Diego Forlan scoring twice after Luis Suarez had put them ahead after 12 minutes.

The strike pairing of Liverpool's Suarez and Atletico Madrid's Forlan stole the headlines for their goalscoring exploits, but defender Lugano claims the "unity" in the team was the overriding reason for their success.

He said: "We have worked so hard and dreamed that this will happen to make people happy and Uruguay showed that they are the best team in South America," he said. "The key is the unity within the group. We all pull the same way."

This is the result of many years of hard work. We are proud to have won something this big.
Diego Lugano, Uruguay captain

The Fenerbahce centre-back added: "This is the result of many years of hard work. We are proud to have won something this big. Not now, but over the years we will realise what we have done.

"From a little boy, everyone breathes football in our country. And from when you first kick a ball you dream of moments like this - winning the Copa America - so we want to enjoy it.

"Uruguay are the champions because we were strong and hungry for glory. But football evolves and you have to play well every game. In a couple of months' time we will be tested again in World Cup qualifying."

Tabarez staying focused for qualifiers
Coach Oscar Tabarez was delighted with his side's display but warned it would have no bearing on qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, which gets under way in October.

"This is very gratifying, very nice, but a qualifying series is something else because it's not played at one venue, where presumably the only ones with an advantage are the home team," Tabarez said. "To have won the Copa America has no bearing on the qualifiers, it's no guarantee.

"In the qualifiers there are distances [to travel], climate factors, all those things that come into play and on top of that in each country there is a national feeling fans convert into a desire to reach the World Cup and that makes it, for me, much more competitive than a Copa America."