The Fenerbahce centre-back says that he dreamed of winning the Copa America as a youngster and is proud to have given his country something to celebrateUruguay captain Diego Lugano has paid tribute to his team-mates following their Copa America triumph on Sunday.
Oscar Tabarez's side blew Paraguay off the park in a dominant 3-0 victory in the final to claim the South American silverware, thanks to a brace from Diego Forlan after a Luis Suarez goal on 12 minutes.
Forlan and Suarez were the heroes of the competition, but Lugano believes that the unity of the team was the real reason for the success.
"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 is quoted as saying by the Press Association. "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. 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."
Following on from the nation's success in finishing fourth at the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, the triumph in Argentina was Uruguay's first Copa America crown since 1995.
Uruguay will commence their qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil in October, with Conmebol's round robin format.