Uruguay will be without Luis Suarez for their Copa America campaign and Gus Poyet concedes his national team will undoubtedly miss the Barcelona star.
Suarez – who scored 25 goals in winning the treble with Barca this season – is serving an international ban after biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup in Brazil last year.
The forward was hit with a nine-match suspension for competitive matches, eight of which he is still to serve, meaning he will miss all of Uruguay’s Copa clashes even if the defending champions reach the final.
“Undoubtedly, when someone plays for Uruguay the team is the most important thing, but Luis Suarez is an international figure and the team will always notice his absence,” Poyet, who won the Copa with Uruguay back in 1995, told Perform.
“I think the previous training time will be key, but we will obviously miss him.
“We play as if it were the last tournament we are going to play in our life and this always brings something extra.
“Winning this tournament make us proud, so it is very important for us.”
Uruguay start their Copa campaign against Jamaica on Saturday.
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