'El Principe' represented his country 73 times between 1982 and 1997, scoring 15 goals and also lifting no less than three Copa America titles over a glittering international career. The 49 year old is recognised as one of the best Uruguayan players of all-time, and is also a hero in Argentine club River for leading them to five national titles and the 1996 Copa Libertadores.
Questioned on the current situation of the Charrua, Francescoli could not hide his confidence as he foresaw a positive campaign for his compatriots.
"It looks very good for Uruguay, just as it did for the World Cup. They are a great team who are playing well, they have kept almost all the side together and the World Cup has given them great experience," the legend told Punto Radio on Thursday afternoon. He also pointed out that they would have none of the pressure on hosts Argentina's shoulders.
"Argentina are obliged to do well because they are playing at home. [Lionel] Messi will have to impress because, unbelievably, some still dispute his ability [for Argentina]. Brazil should also play a crucial role, and Paraguay and Chile are doing well despite [Chile] changing coach."
Moving on to his former club, 'El Principe' argued that River's battles with the promocion were a wake-up call for a club thought too big to go down, and affirmed that he expected the team to escape relegation.
"We could see this coming for two years now, some day it was going to happen but nobody wanted to notice it until now, when everyone is worried," he opined.
"I do think they will save themselves and get out of trouble, but it will be a good scare for whoever thought that this could not happen."
River currently stand just above Olimpo out of the relegation playoffs, but due to the vagaries of the relegation average points system the Millo's fate is not in their own hands with two games to go, due to the fact that as a newly-promoted club their rivals' victories are worth more in the promedio.
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