Uruguay manager and South American press react to Facundo Pellistri's debut performance

Facundo Pellistri made his international debut for Uruguay in a World Cup qualifying win over Paraguay and his performance has been met with a positive reaction.

Pellistri started the away fixture as Uruguay won 1-0, knocking Paraguay out of contention to qualify for World Cup 2022.

Uruguay are in a strong position to qualify with three games remaining in a very open Conmebol group.

Photo by DANIEL DUARTE/AFP via Getty Images

Pellistri’s start was a little surprising considering his lack of action on loan at Alaves, but the Manchester United loanee clearly impressed his manager in training to earn the selection.

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Manager Diego Alonso spoke highly of Pellistri after the game and told ESPN Deportes : “He had the mission of playing open, he suffered in the first half where we were not able to get the ball to him so that he could unbalance. In the second half he got physically tired but he played a good game.”

How the media reacted

Pellistri’s international debut has been met with a positive action with the media commending him on a solid debut.

This was his first start of 2022 in any competition, and while it would have been easy for the winger to look out of his depth at this level, the 20-year-old performed well.

El Pais wrote: “He was the great surprise of Diego Alonso in the starting team of Uruguay. Although he tried to make La Celeste’s attack dizzy, he was unable to impact and at 69 minutes he left the field.”

El Observador praised his attacking intent, writing: “Without being outstanding, he showed things distant from what Uruguay used to show in attack.”

ESPN Deportes: “He fulfilled his role. He was applied at all times and with the ball at his feet he faced every opportunity he had.  In general terms and without being dazzling, he complied and was not out of tune.”

Pellistri will hope to feature in next Tuesday’s game against bottom side Venezuela and take a step closer to the 2022 World Cup.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

The former Penarol youngster is now in with a real chance of making the tournament in Qatar along with his United teammate Edinson Cavani, who was a second half substitute in the win.

United signed Pellistri in 2020 and he is yet to make a competitive appearance, only featuring for the under-23s and in pre-season, where combined he has two goals and three assists in 10 total appearances.

His loan at Alaves has not gone so well, with the youngster yet to have a goal contribution for the La Liga strugglers, where he is mainly used as a substitute.

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