Luis Suarez Will Not Start in Uruguay's World Cup Opener vs. Costa Rica

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2014

Uruguay's Luis Suarez runs during a training session at Jacare Stadium in Sete Lagoas, Brazil, Tuesday, June 10, 2014. Uruguay continues its preparations for the upcoming 2014 World Cup. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez confirmed on Friday Liverpool's Luis Suarez would not be starting in his country's opening fixture at the 2014 World Cup against Costa Rica.

As reported by the BBC, Tabarez refused to rule out the possibility of his star striker making an appearance as a substitute:

We're just about to go out and train on the pitch now and you never know what will happen.

We are increasing (Suarez's) pace of recovery and up until now there have been no glitches.

Yesterday afternoon Suarez did the most important thing in training, which is play football.

We still have one day to go. We don't want to jump the gun. We have prepared not to have him, but it would be wonderful to have him. We have to be very careful.

Diego Forlan will be replacing Suarez in the starting lineup, pairing with Edinson Cavani to give La Celeste an attacking duo that should still overpower the Costa Ricans.

Suarez had surgery on his knee in May and has been working hard to get ready in time for the World Cup ever since, but with matches against England and 2006 champions Italy still to follow after the clash with Costa Rica, the decision to keep Suarez off the pitch for now is a logical one.

Transfer Sources believes Suarez should be fit to face England, however:

Costa Rica have looked less than formidable during their preparations for the 2014 World Cup, relying heavily on the creativity of Bryan Ruiz and Joel Campbell. No one is expecting the team to challenge for a ticket to the group stages, unlike Uruguay's two other opponents.

Italy traditionally play well at the World Cup, and despite their struggles in recent friendlies, the Azzurri are favoured to survive Group D.

Against England, Suarez will be seeing a host of Liverpool teammates, including Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge, and Uruguay will need their striker to get past the Three Lions.

Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

Replacement Forlan played excellent during the 2010 World Cup and has plenty of experience on the highest level, which is why Tabarez must feel safe dropping Suarez for this match.

Suarez enjoyed a phenomenal season at the club level in 2013-14, winning the Golden Boot as the top scorer in all European competitions (an award he shared with Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo).

He didn't play in the 2010 semi-final loss against the Netherlands after receiving a red card in the team's win over Ghana, but he did lead Uruguay to a win in the 2011 Copa America, and his team still hopes he can replicate that magic during the 2014 World Cup.