Portugal coach Fernando Santos brushed aside various video assistant referee (VAR) decisions and a sub-par performance from Cristiano Ronaldo to stress his players achieved their main goal in a 1-1 draw with Iran by qualifying for the World Cup last 16.
For Ronaldo it is a return to the same Fisht Stadium where he scored a hat-trick against Spain earlier in the tournament, but this time he will be up against a Uruguayan defence that was alone among the 32 teams in Russian Federation in coming through the group stage without conceding a goal.
And Messi's Barcelona teammate, Uruguay's Luis Suarez - who bit an opponent at the previous World Cup - has been in top form in Russian Federation while keeping his teeth to himself. "They're a strong team but we also have our qualities and we will try to win the game". Aside from that there are no fresh worries for the south Americans.
The last time Uruguay allowed a goal was in a 4-2 victory over Bolivia in World Cup qualifying last October. But history weighs less heavily on him than on Messi, the benefit of playing for a smaller nation that's never reached a World Cup final. "I think we will win, but you can't forget you can only win if you play well and I think we'll play well".
Gimenez and Suarez were respectively responsible for unremarkable 1-0 wins over Egypt and Saudi Arabia but the Barcelona striker and Cavani were both on target as hosts' Russian Federation were exposed to a gulf in class and a 3-0 defeat.More news: Belgium, team of tomorrow, hopes to finally win now
2-time former World Cup winners Uruguay started off their campaign with hard earned 1-0 victory Egypt courtesy of 89th-minute victor by Jose Gimenez.
"A rivalry with Ronaldo here (at the World Cup) and at a club level are two different things".
Uruguay are hopeful Jose Maria Gimenez will return from injury to resume his centre-back partnership with Atletico Madrid team-mate Diego Godin.
"This is a World Cup, and of course we're all defending and we're all working for our national teams, and that's the essential aspect". "It is true, though, that when both teams cancel each other out, that is where the individuals come to the fore".