Uruguay not resting on laurels - Suarez

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina, July 20, 2011 (AFP) - Uruguay will not rest on their laurels as they prepare to go up against Paraguay in Sunday's Copa America final, says Luis Suarez, semi-final hero against Peru.

The Liverpool forward's brace of goals means the celeste now stand on the threshold of what would be a record 15th title - breaking their current logjam with quarter-final victims Argentina.

"We'll not forget about those titles (but) we are thinking about the present, about carrying on winning. Uruguay are not going to waste time celebrating past achievements and past titles won," said Suarez.

Should the 24-year-old score in Sunday's final he would likely end up as top scorer - he is currently joint-top marksman with Argentina's Sergio Aguero on three goals.

But "being top scorer is not the important thing for me - the main issue is the collective dream of winning the Copa. Personal stuff is secondary to that," insists Suarez.

Suarez, who joined Liverpool from Ajax last season, gives coach Oscar Tabarez much of the credit for transforming Uruguayan fortunes.

Tabarez took over in 2006 and led the side to the World Cup semi-finals last season but the coach himself stressed after the win over Peru that it was laying the groundwork at more junior levels which was the foundation of the team's recent good form, with youngsters coming through the ranks.

"The under20 team has been doing well, qualifying for the London Olympics, while the under17 side were runners-up at their world championship and we were fourth at the World Cup in South Africa. Now we are in the final of the Copa," said Suarez.

Defender Sebastian Coates came through from the under20 side. He has been doing well at the tournament here and says the Tabarez method is paying handsome dividends.

"It was very useful for me to cut my teeth with the under20 team and also important to have played with the under 17s."

As players come up level by level "they respect the various processes and this is also very important for those who are with the younger teams right now."

While Argentina and Brazil regroup for the 2014 World Cup, Uruguay are therefore punching above their weight once again, despite being the second-smallest nation in South America after Surinam with a population of around 3.5 million.

They won the first Copa America in 1916 as well as the first ever World Cup in 1930 and repeated the feat in 1950 - beating Brazil in Rio de Janeiro in the final.

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