Lugano: Suarez boos are a sign of respect

The centre-back was not included in the Olympic squad, but is in Cardiff to support his men and is not troubled by the flak 'El Pistolero' has taken from British crowds
Uruguay captain Diego Lugano insisted he has no problem with the rough treatment handed out to Luis Suarez from the stands during London 2012, stating that the jeers show that the Liverpool striker is feared and respected for his goalscoring talent.

The Paris Saint-Germain defender was not selected as one of the Celeste's over-age players for the Olympics, but he has been accompanying the team and was among the crowd which saw the South American's fall 2-0 to Senegal on Sunday.

Suarez has been singled out in Uruguay's opening two games by fans, but his captain believes that the boos and catcalls have no effect on the prolific striker or the rest of the side.

"When you get whistled at like that it is because you are respected, I don't know maybe even feared; the same happened to Maradona's Argentina. If the fans applaud you like they do for the Arabs or the Senegalese it is because they think you are inferior, so it will be a great game [against Team GB] and I hope it goes our way," the veteran explained to Ovacion on Tuesday.

"[The Suarez abuse] is a sign of respect and a little bit of fear. When these people take that attitude it is because they clearly see you as a rival and deep down there is a lot of respect."

Uruguay have to beat the hosts on Wednesday to qualify from Group A and keep their hopes of a third Olympic title alive. Lugano told his compatriots that just a little extra effort was needed to upset Team GB and book a place in the quarter-finals.

"First of all I want to send a message of strength and optimism, but nothing special because they do not need anything. Just a little more good luck against Great Britain to achieve another great success for our football, which would be brilliant."

Lugano has made a total of 68 appearances for his nation, and captained the Celeste to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup as well as victory in last year's Copa America.