Uruguayans "never give up, we're fighters. We're small but we dream of being giants," Lugano wrote on Twitter.

To stay in the game and qualify for the next round of 16, Uruguay have to defeat Italy at Natal's Das Dunas Stadium while Italy only needs a draw to advance.

Lugano, who will likely sit out the game due to a knee injury, added, "we want to win the easy games but turn them into difficult ones and sometimes the difficult ones become a little easier."

Uruguay lost 1-3 to Costa Rica in their first match but bounced back to beat England 2-1, with two goals from star striker Luis Suarez.

"With just a few hours to go before this momentous match, this enormous and incredibly difficult challenge, I only ask that all Uruguayans be united in cheering for the (national team)," wrote Lugano.

(Agencies)

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